Allergy immunotherapy: Speeding up relief from seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies affect each person differently -- but you don't have to live with the suffering. (Image credit: MGN)

Seasonal allergies affect each person differently -- but you don't have to live with the suffering.

Jess brown's allergy misery was year round.

Spring was the worst.

"I had to have tissues next to me every minute my eyes were itching all the time," she said.

Over-the-counter meds helped for a little while. "It just felt like a cold all the time," she said.

Jess had enough. When it was time to study for her nursing boards, "I found out I was allergic to my dogs which I sleep with every day and pretty much everything outside."

Allergist Dr. Summit Shah says each person has their peak season--and the misery varies depending on where you live.

"The patients who have specific allergies to grass pollen and tree pollen and mold spores will suffer more in the springtime, where, for example, in the fall, those patients who are more prone to weed pollen will suffer more in the fall," said Shah.

Dr. Shah says people are turning to allergy immunotherapy to speed up relief.

"If you went to your allergist 20 or 30 years ago they would say you've got to have allergy shots for 5 years 10 years 20 years. Now we have some more accelerated approaches like rush immunotherapy and cluster immunotherapy."

Dr. Shah says the FDA approved injections build a person's immunity.

"It's safe it's natural because we're injecting people with the very allergens they're allergic to," Shah said.

Patients begin with a low concentration of their allergen to work toward a maintenance dose, and "people can start getting relief from their symptoms sometimes in the same season."

Jess started rush immunotherapy over a year ago. She says within a few weeks she started to feel significantly better.

"Now I don't take any medications on a daily basis. I sleep with my dogs still, and I'm completely fine" she said.

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