Quick Summary of Allergy Immunotherapy in Southern Utah Success Rate:
- What is allergy immunotherapy?
- How does an allergy immunotherapy treatment go?
- Does allergy immunotherapy really work?
- Risks of allergy immunotherapy
- How fast do you see results?
- Should I get allergy immunotherapy?
- 5 reasons why people don’t do it
- A very brief history of allergy immunotherapy
- Does allergy immunotherapy work for food allergies?
Bad allergies are the worst. Allergies are common here in Southern Utah. You feel miserable, it’s hard to keep your mind off the irritation, and taking allergy meds each day is tedious. Your quality of life goes down with allergies, especially for those with severe reactions.
These reasons are why people are excited about allergy immunotherapy.
Modern advances in allergy treatment are offering people new options to get relief from allergies. And immunotherapy is one of the most popular.
But like all forms of alternative medicine, the practice has its detractors. Some swear by the treatment’s positive results while others don’t take it seriously. What is the allergy immunotherapy success rate? Does it really work?
The answers to these questions and more are below. Are you thinking about doing allergy immunotherapy? The information here will help you make an educated decision.
1. What is allergy immunotherapy?
Also known as allergy shots, the idea behind this treatment is desensitization. You expose your body to small, measured doses of a particular allergen by way of injection. Repeated doses over a period of time slowly makes your immune system used to it.
Eventually, your reaction to that allergen diminishes or goes away altogether. It’s designed to be a long-term fix. You know all the allergy pills that you take? Those are only a temporary fix. In fact, allergy pills just mask the reaction.
If you stop taking your pills, the mask comes off. Your allergic reactions will return to their full strength. But immunotherapy offers a foundational, permanent fix.
2. How does an allergy immunotherapy treatment go?
The process is simple. First, the allergist identifies your allergen with a specialized blood test or skin test. With your allergen is identified, he then determines what your target dose is.
Your target dose refers to how much of the allergen extract should initially be injected. This is determined based on a few factors including age, weight, and the severity of your allergy.
The build-up phase
The next step is called the build-up phase. During this phase, you’re injected with the substance you are allergic to in small amounts at calculated intervals. Usually it’s a couple times a week for anywhere from 3-6 months.
Each time you go in they give you a little bit more than the time before. The build-up phase ends once you reach your target dose. Depending on what that number is, this phase will last somewhere between 3-6 months on average.
Note: many patients experience redness or a slight allergic reaction as a result of their first few visits. This is normal.
The maintenance phase
From this point, the amount of time between injections increases. You only go in once every 2-4 weeks. As time progresses, injection intervals can increase even more. After 3-5 years of regular injections, the treatment is over.
At this point, your allergic reactions will be significantly diminished or eliminated entirely!
3. Does allergy immunotherapy really work?
Yes! It does!
Hundreds of thousands of people are experiencing the great effects of allergy immunotherapy right now. The benefits are life-altering for many people who stick it out and go through the whole process. The allergy immunotherapy success rate continues to rise as more people experience its effects.
–85% of patients who are vigilant and receive regular treatment for 3-5 years experience permanent, lifelong effects.
-Allergy symptoms are reduced, on average, by 65% in those who complete their treatment.
-After treatment, a person is 70% less likely to ever need allergy medication again.
-The risk of developing asthma goes down by 60% in children who undergo allergy immunotherapy.
-Children who already have asthma experience reduced asthma reactions after completing allergy immunotherapy.
-Allergy immunotherapy also reduces the risk of developing new allergies.
Does it work for children?
People of all ages can safely have this treatment. In fact, allergy immunotherapy is well-known for how well it works on kids and young adults. There is data out there that suggests the allergy immunotherapy success rate is higher for children than for adults.
However, consult your doctor first to make sure any preexisting conditions won’t prevent your child from undergoing treatment.
What about elderly folks?
A study was done in 2016 regarding the effectiveness of allergy immunotherapy on people aged 65 and older. Some of the people had their allergy symptoms reduced by over 50% after treatments was completed.
But again, make sure you communicate with your doctor before starting treatment.
Is it guaranteed to work for everyone?
No. Every person’s body is different. How one person reacts to the treatments is different from the next. Some people see effects faster than normal and others see very little effect. There are patients who are totally cured and others who experience no effects whatsoever.
Statistically, however, close to all people who undergo allergy immunotherapy respond positively. Many people who were once absolutely miserable because of their allergies are now enjoying life. The allergy immunotherapy success rate speaks for itself.
But you never know if your allergy will return or not, even after full treatment. Though rare, sometimes it does return a little bit. In this case, you go back in for a round or so of more shots.
There is some scientific evidence that suggests a person can’t be literally cured from an allergy. From this perspective, a treatment such as allergy immunotherapy can significantly reduce symptoms to a point where it seems like it’s completely gone. But in reality, it’s still there. It’s just significantly reduced.
4. Risks of allergy immunotherapy
There are almost none. We’re assuming, of course, that the treatment is performed by a professional physician or practitioner. Don’t go to an inexperienced, unlicensed person. This is where you open the door to risk.
In some rare instances, mistakes have happened that resulted in the patient experiencing anaphylaxis. But again, we emphasis the word rare. Allergy immunotherapy is likely to involve the same amount of risk as being vaccinated.
There are a few mild side effects that sometimes occur. Redness a slight swelling around the injection site, nasal congestion, and sneezing are the most common side effects.
But the allergy immunotherapy success rate is very high and side effects are typically mild.
5. How fast do you see results?
It usually takes a little while for the real benefits of allergy immunotherapy to show themselves. Most patients start noticing improvements around the year mark. The second year tends to be when you see pronounced improvements. And by the third year, people are often 50-100% desensitized.
Every once in awhile, even after years of continual shots, allergic reactions creep up again. When this happens, ongoing shots are necessary. How many more shots are needed varies person to person.
6. Should I get allergy immunotherapy?
There are lots of reasons why people consider this treatment. Here are some of them:
-Your allergy is so severe that you’re on constant alert all the time
-The area you live in is ripe with your allergen
-The length of your allergy season is very long
-Allergy medications don’t seem to work for you
-You have an aversion to swallowing pills
-You want to move away from using medication in general
-You have atopic dermatitis
-You have allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis
-You have allergic asthma
-You’re allergic to stinging insects
Seasonal allergies are the most common type of allergy. It includes hay fever, allergic asthma, and pollen from weeds, grass, trees, and more.
Indoor allergens are different from seasonal in the sense that people experience them all the time. Not just when it’s the right season. These include allergies to dogs, cats, mold, cockroaches, dust mites, and more.
Insect stings are just what the name implies. It includes allergies to yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, bees, and more.
7. 5 reasons why people don’t do it
Let’s talk about the main reasons why people don’t go through with it. Even when knowing the high allergy immunotherapy success rate, it’s a hard decision for some people.
The main reason are not enough time, cost and insurance concerns, a fear of needles, and an aversion to alternative medicine.
I don’t have enough time
Yes, allergy immunotherapy is a time commitment. It can last between 3-5 years before you reach lasting results. But remember that in the beginning, you go in a lot. But as time passes, you go in less and less.
The big commitment is really the first 6 months. Everything after that is a small commitment.
I can’t afford it
It’s really not that expensive. The first year you pay around $1000 total. Subsequent years will cost less as your injection appointments spread out. It’s likely that after your immunotherapy treatment is officially done, you will have spent less than you would have on allergy meds during that time.
When compared to allergy immunotherapy, the 3 year cost of most over-the-counter options is more. And then if you consider all the future money you won’t spend on pills, the savings racks up.
And when you consider the high allergy immunotherapy success rate, the cost will almost certainly be worth it.
My insurance won’t cover it
Many people assume that their insurance won’t cover it, but that’s rarely the case. Most insurances do.
Depending on your insurance plan, the amount and frequency of copays vary. But don’t assume that your insurance won’t cover it. It most likely will.
I’m scared of needles!
There isn’t much to be said here. If you’re debilitatingly afraid of needles, allergy immunotherapy may not be for you. But if you can muster up the motivation to go for it, you won’t regret it.
There is an alternative, approved treatment available in limited areas that doesn’t involve needles. Instead, you take allergy tablets. This treatment is called sublingual immunotherapy. You put the tablet under your tongue as it dissolves.
There isn’t enough data yet that shows if it’s more, less, or as effective as allergy injections. But so far, results are good. Ask you allergist if she offers sublingual immunotherapy.
I don’t trust it
Alternative medicine, to some people, still has a “woo woo” vibe about it. Even though data shows that the allergy immunotherapy success rate is high, they sometimes still turn their heads. But the truth is that on the spectrum of alternative medicine, this one is mild.
It may even fall into the category of mainstream medicine at this point. There’s nothing witch-doctory about it. The treatment is founded on reputable science well inside the accepted realm of medicine. I mean, it’s been around for over 100 years.
8. A very brief history of allergy immunotherapy
England. 1911. Scientists John Freeman and Leonard Noon were studying hay fever. They discovered that the main cause was pollen. With intuition backed up by the resent success of the smallpox vaccine, they hoped to make people immune to pollen.
Their idea was to purposefully inject pollen into people with hay fever in increments. The intended result was to quite literally induce immunity, just like their scientific colleagues had done with smallpox.
Their results were mostly positive. Since then, the process has been refined. The allergy immunotherapy success rate has gone way up. It’s become so effective that more people are doing it than ever before.
9. Does allergy immunotherapy work for food allergies?
Unfortunately, no. The reason is because the risk of the person going into anaphylactic shock during treatment is too high. Research on this topic is ongoing.
Allergy Immunotherapy Success Rate (Does It Really Work?) – Conclusion
We’re confident that this wonderful treatment has the potential to offer you a better quality of life. There’s no harm in giving it a try.