Will Immunotherapy Reduce My Child’s Allergies…Is It Worth It?

Last updated on May 20th, 2013 at 05:04 pm

Allergy shotsImmunotherapy is a series of injections that helps build the body’s immunity to substances that trigger allergy symptoms. Each shot contains a tiny amount of the offending allergen. Over time, your immune system builds up a tolerance, which means that those sniffles and watery eyes lessen or even disappear.

Since immunotherapy is a commitment — the entire course takes years — it’s recommended for people who have multiple allergies and suffer from symptoms at least three months out of the year. Speak with your pediatrician about your child. Most doctors, including myself, advise that children should be at least 5 years of age to start allergy shots.

If your child is a candidate, consider whether or not you’d be able to take him to the doctor’s office regularly. He’ll need to get shots once a week for several months, and then once a month or so for two to five more years.

Next, check in with your insurance company. Most cover immunotherapy, but some have a yearly maximum or deductible. It’s important to have a clear idea of what’s covered before you begin treatment.

The good news: 85 to 95 percent of patients experience a significant improvement in their allergy symptoms. And for most, those benefits last for life. What’s more, immunotherapy will protect your child from developing allergy-induced asthma and other types of allergies.

Has anyone in your family tried immunotherapy? Did it work?



About the Author

Dr. Roger Friedman is a clinical professor of allergy, pediatrics and immunology at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Comments

3 Responses to “Will Immunotherapy Reduce My Child’s Allergies…Is It Worth It?”

  1. My kids would have heart attacks if I put them anywhere near a needle. As of now they use nasal allergy spray and take singular daily. I have immune system problems so I take the allergy shots and they work great for me!

  2. I have a young nephew who experiences some seasonal allergies, and this might be a good solution for him. He’s shown some signs of asthma, so if immunotherapy can help reduce his chances of developing it, that’d be a great help to him. I’ll have to talk to his mother about considering an immunologist so his allergy symptoms can be relieved. Thanks for the information!

    • Stefanie ZuckerStefanie Zucker says:

      You never know with things like allergies, but quite often over time, kids will see a huge improvement. Speaking from my own personal experience…I started with allergy shots when I was young and it felt like I was allergic to everything (actually I had about 17 different seasonal allergies plus dust, mold, etc.). A number of years later I was re-tested and I was allergic to two – dust-mites and ragweed. I still get shots so that fall allergies aren’t as severe – but what a huge difference it’s made on my ability to spend time outside. Thanks Hazel! We appreciate the input!

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