With sunshine and warmer temps eclipsing the perpetual gray of winter, April showers that bring May flowers also trigger pollen, mold spores, dust particles and a lush green coughing, sniffing, scratching, sneezing ode to seasonal allergies. Thankfully with the right treatment, you don’t have to suffer (much).
Let’s face it, there’s no realistic way to completely avoid allergy triggers. While over-the-counter meds can be effectively used to lessen seasonal symptoms, they’re only a mask, not a cure. Allergen immunotherapy or “allergy shots” has been a form of treatment for more than a century with one goal in mind—to act as conductor to the symphony of the immune system. By adding allergens in micro-doses over time, the body adjusts naturally and desensitizes itself to the point that it no longer sees the allergen as an invading body. After a while, usually in the timeframe of 4-8 months of weekly shots, the patient feels noticeably better. Allergy symptoms are drastically lessened for the long term, beyond what traditional medicine can provide.
Though not a new concept in immunotherapy, Cluster or “rush” injections bridges the gap between slow and steady and I need it right now by upping the frequency and dosage of traditional injections so that the patient feels better, faster. With our cluster schedule, you may be able reach your maintenance vial in just 5 visits.
But I don’t want to feel better, faster…said no one ever. Since cluster appointments tend to last longer, due to more injections per visit with a thirty-minute observation period to monitor for reaction between sticks, it can be difficult to fit into busy schedules. However, many people find the trade-off of fewer office visits is well worth the extra time at each visit.
Sounds like a no-brainer, but is it safe?
Feeling better faster can have side effects, leading to more local reactions at the injection site. Though reactions are usually mild, the most common symptoms include itching and hives. Patients with asthma or a higher degree of allergic sensitivity run a slightly higher risk of reaction with cluster immunotherapy and should be monitored more closely.
If you’re interested in learning more or think you’re a candidate for cluster or “rush” immunotherapy, schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified allergists at any of our five locations today.