I have been an allergy sufferer, that is an understatement, for the past decade. My allergies are so bad that I have lost my sense of smell and taste. When I really think about it, I could just cry, and have at times. I don't know how many dinners, some rather expensive, I have gone to with friends only to hear them all ooh and aah over the smells and tastes and there I sit experiencing none of it. There have been the very rare occasions - like when visiting someone in the very clean, sterile hospital - when suddenly my entire head clears and I can SMELL! This usually lasts until I hit the outside world and then I am once again thrown into the dimmer, duller world of my compromised senses.
Then of course there's the constant nose blowing and trouble breathing and UNBEARABLE itching of my eyes, nose, ears and roof of my mouth. I am at times driven to a state of madness and would like to smash my face against the wall.
I have tried countless medications, herbal remedies, acupuncture, et al, but to no avail. On Monday I have an appointment with another allergist to discuss finally getting the shots. I feel like this truly is my last hope and I really don't know what I'll do if this doesn't work.
I guess I'm reaching out to any and everybody who has tried the shots and had success. I could use a little hope this evening. This cold, rainy evening in New York.
As I write this there are... 6 crumpled Kleenex on my desk.
I'm surprised it has taken you this long to get around to doing this. They are very helpful for most people. It can take a year to really notice any difference and the regimen takes 5 years. So you really haveto stick with it. I've done it 3 times in my life and would do it again. (the effects can wear off over time)
I know it has taken me awhile. I'm more of the homeopathic type of person and wanted to exhaust all of those options before I even tried RX drugs. Now I'm at the point where I'll do anything. Also, I knew shots were a big commitment as far as time, you know getting time off of work every week for months was just not an option but now I work from home and can manage it.
I am currently on my second round of allergy shots, and for me they have helped a lot. I still take medication regularly, however it controls my symptoms much better than without the shots.
After stopping the first round of shots a few years ago, (which I did because I had a new baby at home and it was just impossible to keep up with the shot schedule) within a year my allergies were so much more severe, to the point of develping asthma.
I think it's worth a try, it's just that it is a big commitment and does take a while to really see the difference. Hope that helps!
I have had severe allergies for about 14 years. I am currently on my second round of immunotherapy for 28 of my worst allergens. The first round took 5 years to complete. I then had about 5 years that were better. My tree allergies remained better, but the others eventually all got severe again. I'm about 1 1/2 years into my second series of shots. I'm feeling like they are working better. I still have trouble, but I've only had 2 sinus infections this year vs. 4-5 from past years. I definitely recommend trying them if you have bad allergies.
I also take Allegra, Singulair, Flonase and Astelin.
If you are interested in a homeopathic approach, you should look into the NAET treatments. I have friends who have some impressive successes with that treatment. I'm seriously considering looking into trying it as well in the near future. The doctor I spoke to last week said that it wouldn't interfere with my other treatments.
From what I've learned, there is a more effective & fast-acting allergy shot regime....provoked neutrilization testing (I did it with an Environmental Doc listed with AAEM) which was touted to be more accurate & gave the exact dose to use for immunotherapy that shut off your allergic response. I did it in 2001 & saw great relief in no time!!! I was able to do the injections at home myself as there was only very minute danger of reaction. There was no "building up to optimal dose", it was very quick to work. I was very impressed with results, however quit the program after a year due to insurance changes, costs, etc. I felt the effect lasted a couple years after I stopped, tho. I had heard that conventional testing (RAST, scratch, etc) & immunotherapy doesn't help everyone. Working in the medical field for many years, I knew that when the allergist couldn't help someone, they sent them to the Environmental Physician so that's where I started. Hope this info helps.