Comprehensive Allergy and Asthma Associates
Cathy Green, MD
Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialist located in Brentwood, Los Angeles, CA
When your allergies make you miserable, or the only way to get relief is to constantly rely on medications, it’s time to talk about allergy shots. At Comprehensive Allergy and Asthma Associates, Cathy Green, MD, offers customized allergy shots designed to significantly reduce or eliminate your allergy symptoms. To schedule an appointment and learn if you’re a good candidate for allergy shots, call the office in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, or schedule an appointment online today.
Allergy Shots Q & A
How do allergy shots work?
Allergies begin when your immune system overreacts to a harmless substance as though it’s a danger to your health. Every time you encounter that substance — your allergen — the immune system triggers an allergic reaction, releasing biochemicals that cause your symptoms.
Allergy shots, also called immunotherapy, relieve your allergies by targeting your immune system. Each allergy shot contains a tiny dose of your allergen, enough to activate your immune system without causing an allergic reaction.
Dr. Green gives you a series of allergy shots, with each one containing a slightly higher dose than the previous shot. By frequently being exposed to the allergen, your immune system develops a tolerance to the substance.
As allergy shots desensitize your immune system, your allergic reactions gradually diminish. Over time, symptoms are significantly diminished. In some cases, they’re eliminated.
Which allergies improve with allergy shots?
Allergy shots can treat virtually every allergen, including:
- Tree, grass, and weed pollen
- Insect venom
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
If you have asthma that’s triggered by allergies, getting allergy shots can help prevent future asthma flare-ups.
How long will I need to get allergy shots?
If you haven’t already had allergy testing, Dr. Green administers a skin test to identify your precise allergens. Then you’ll receive allergy shots on a regular schedule. Your schedule is personalized and may be a little different, but most patients follow this two-phased schedule:
During this phase, you get one or two allergy shots every week, with a slight increase in the dose every time. Dr. Green continues this phase for about 3-6 months until she determines you’re ready for a maintenance dose. Though some patients notice their symptoms improve during the buildup phase, you may not experience a change until the maintenance phase.
During the maintenance phase, you get an allergy shot once or twice a month, and every shot contains the same dose. Most patients stay on maintenance shots for about 3-5 years. Your symptoms gradually improve throughout the maintenance phase until you achieve optimal results. By the time this phase is finished, you should have long-lasting allergy relief.
To learn if you’re a good candidate for allergy shots, call Comprehensive Allergy and Asthma Associates or schedule an appointment online.