The upshot of allergy treatment
Immunotherapy takes time and commitment, but can be the best way to manage your symptoms.
Many people know all too well the misery of allergies—the chronic sneezing, runny nose, postnasal drip, watery eyes, and itchy throat. They try to fight back with over-the-counter or prescription drugs, but there may be a better option: immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots.
"People often resist allergy shots because they fear injections and only turn to them as a last resort," says Dr. Paul Hesterberg, instructor in medicine in the allergy and clinical immunology unit at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. "But they can be an effective means to control symptoms that interfere with daily life, as well as to reduce dependency on allergy drugs."
In fact, a recent study of adults ages 65 to 75 found allergy shots reduced symptoms by 55% after three years of therapy. The research, published in February 2016 in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, also showed that the amount of medication this group needed to relieve symptoms dropped by 64%.