The practice of obtaining allergy shots to help control your allergic reactions to various allergens that exist in the environment is known as immunotherapy. In order to receive such shots, you do need to go through various types of treatments because it is basically a last resort when nothing else works. When you have an allergic reaction for the first time, the first course of action is to buy over-the-counter medication to combat the effect it has on your body. That is, of course, if it is not a severe reaction. Such medication usually consists of an antihistamine or Benadryl.
When you continue to have allergic reactions and the over-the-counter medication does not work or keep the reactions from happening, then your next step is to consult a physician, who will likely prescribe prescription medication, which is, of course, stronger. At the same time, you should start keeping a diary of locations that you visit and foods that you eat in order to try to determine if there is something that triggers the reaction. If this is so and you can avoid coming in contact with the allergen, then this is really good because it will allow you to reduce your use of allergy medication.
The doctor will also send you for allergy testing. Such a procedure involves using a small patch of skin on the inside of your wrist in which the specialist will inject various allergens. After waiting for a set period of time, such as 20 or 30 minutes, the specialist will inspect this area to see if there is any redness and to see if you have started to have any reaction at all. The various allergens are associated with common allergies and in this way, you may find out immediately just what it is you are allergic to.
In the case of allergens that are commonly found in the air, such as dust, pollen, grass, etc. if you are continually suffering with watery eyes, headaches or itchy rashes, for example, the specialist may recommend that you start immunotherapy or allergy shots. This involves receiving an allergy shot once a week for up to 52 weeks. After each injection, the doctor will assess your condition to determine if you are having any reaction to the injection. If not, then it is safe to continue.
As the treatment proceeds, the amount of dosage in each injection increases so that the body will have time to adjust to the allergen and accept it as harmless. Allergic reactions are the result of the reaction of the immune system to the allergens which it sees as foreign agents in the body and overreacts in order to try to expel them.
If you are a long time sufferer from allergies and nothing seems to give you relief for any length of time, then you may be a good candidate for allergy shots. This is true whether you have a seasonal allergy or one that occurs all during the year.