Allergy & Asthma Center, P.C., is an allergy practice based in Eugene, Corvallis, and Roseburg, Oregon.
Our practice includes allergists:
Appointments are available in the following locations in Oregon:
An allergist is a physician trained to diagnose, treat, and manage asthma and allergies, whether they are related to or caused by foods, environmental factors (such as pollen), drugs, or topical substances. Conditions that an allergist commonly treats include the following:
For your information, each month we feature a topic of interest to our readers. Please read our current Topic of the Month below. To read previous articles that we have featured, please visit our Topic of the Month page.
July 2014 Topics of the Month
Allergen immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is a form of long-term treatment that decreases symptoms for many people with allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, conjunctivitis (eye allergy) or stinging insect allergy.
Allergy shots decrease sensitivity to allergens and often lead to lasting relief of allergy symptoms even after treatment is stopped. This makes it a cost-effective, beneficial treatment approach for many people.
Both children and adults can receive allergy shots, although it is not typically recommended for children under age five. This is because of the difficulty younger children may have in cooperating with the program and in articulating any adverse symptoms they may be experiencing. When considering allergy shots for an older adult, medical conditions, such as cardiac disease, should be taken into consideration and discussed with your allergist/immunologist first.
You and your allergist/immunologist should base your decision regarding allergy shots on:
Allergy shots are not used to treat food allergies. The best option for people with food allergies is to strictly avoid that food.
Allergy shots work like a vaccine. Your body responds to injected amounts of a particular allergen, given in gradually increases doses, by developing immunity or tolerance to the allergen.
There are two phases:
You may notice a decrease in symptoms during the build-up phase, but it may take as long as 12 months on the maintenance dose to notice an improvement. If allergy shots are successful, maintenance treatment is generally continued for three to five years. Any decision to stop allergy shots should be discussed with your allergist/immunologist.
Allergy shots have been shown to decrease symptoms of many allergies. They can prevent the development of new allergies and in children can prevent the progression of allergic disease from allergic rhinitis to asthma. The effectiveness of allergy shots appears to be related to the length of the treatment program, as well as the dose of the allergen. Some people experience lasting relief from allergy symptoms, while others may relapse after discontinuing allergy shots. If you have not seen improvement after a year of maintenance therapy, your allergist/immunologist will work with you to discuss treatment options.
Failure to respond to allergy shots may be due to several factors:
This type of treatment should be supervised by a specialized physician in a facility equipped with proper staff and equipment to identify and treat adverse reactions to allergy injections. Ideally, immunotherapy should be given in your allergist's/immunologist’s office. If this is not possible, your allergist/immunologist should provide the supervising physician with comprehensive instructions about your allergy shot treatments.
A typical reaction is redness and swelling at the injection site. This can happen immediately or several hours after the treatment. In some instances, symptoms can include increased allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, or hives. Serious reactions to allergy shots are rare. When they do occur, they require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction can include swelling in the throat, wheezing, or tightness in the chest, nausea, and dizziness. Most serious reactions developing within 30 minutes of the allergy injections. This is why it is recommend that you wait in your doctor’s office for at least 30 minutes after you receive allergy shots.Reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology