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Airborne Allergens


Immunotherapy, or a series of allergy shots, is the only available treatment that has a chance of reducing the allergy symptoms over a longer period of time. Patients receive subcutaneous (under the skin) injections of increasing concentrations of the allergen(s) to which they are sensitive. These injections reduce the amount of IgE antibodies in the blood and cause the body to make a protective antibody called IgG. Many patients with allergic rhinitis will have a significant reduction in their hay fever symptoms and in their need for medication within 12 months of starting immunotherapy.

Patients who benefit from immunotherapy may continue it for three years and then consider stopping. Although many patients are able to stop the injections with good, long-term results, some do get worse after immunotherapy is stopped. As better allergens for immunotherapy are produced, this technique will become an even more effective treatment.

References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health.

last update: November 2008

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
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