An estimated 24 million Americans suffer from allergies, and the numbers are on the rise. While we are not completely certain why incidents of allergies are increasing, it is clear that they are reaching near-epidemic proportions. As summer winds down to fall, another strong allergy season is about to dawn. For patients who suffer with the runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, breathing problems and other symptoms, fall allergy shots can provide a welcome respite.
Allergies result from abnormal immune system reactions to substances that generally should not be harmful. These substances are called allergens, and anything from pollen in the air to foods like shellfish and peanuts to pet dander can cause a reactions.
The body tags allergens as foreign substances to be fought and produces antibodies, which can cause symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes, difficulty breathing, rashes, a runny nose, pressure in the face and more. In severe cases, the glandular swelling can be severe enough to be life-threatening.
Fall is a big season for allergy sufferers. Along with the autumn comes ragweed, a very common and serious trigger for allergies. Ragweed is a type of pollen that is released in the air only during this time of the year and when combined with lingering triggers like mold and grass, it can be a tough time for those with allergies. Possibly due to climate change, the ragweed season in Atlanta is lasting much longer than it ever has before, increasing the misery of those patients sensitive to airborne allergens.
Most people are able to treat their allergies with over the counter medications to clear up the sinus pressure and other symptoms. However, in a certain number of cases, OTC treatments are not viable. This could be due to the severity of symptoms or because the patient is going to be exposed to the allergen constantly and oral medications just are not practical. In these cases, allergy injections, or shots, can be the answer.
With allergy injections, the patient receives shots containing minute doses of the substances to which they are allergic. With each subsequent set of injections, the dose of allergens is gradually increased, thus helping to build up the patient’s tolerance of the substance and train their immune system to not react as severely to them.
As patients continue their course of injections, they find they are less reliant upon medications and can far more easily tolerate the dander, pollen, dust mites, mold or other triggers to their allergic reactions. More and more people are opting for these shots as a treatment for allergies, and for good reason: shots can be had starting a couple times a week, easing off to every few months as the process goes on.
If you suffer from allergies in the Atlanta area and think fall allergy shots may be an option for you, take some time to read up about allergies and call us today to schedule an appointment.