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Old 02-13-2012, 08:59 AM   #1
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Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

Hey everyone,
I was curious if anyone here that has both asthma and allergies has seen improvement with allergy shots.

I've had allergies all my life and take daily meds, but this year was also diagnosed with asthma. I know that allergies are one of my big triggers when I get attacks. I was thinking about finally biting the bullet and starting allergy shots. One of my biggest allergies is dust, which I can try to control in my home but have no control of outside of my home. My other allergy is to my pets and they are a non-negotiable. I've love to be able to wean myself off at least one of my medications long term. (I take Allegra, Singulair and Flovent daily.) I'm 28 years old and otherwise in perfect health. I developed asthma in September after getting bronchitis. My asthma is pretty well controlled at this point, but there is still room for improvement. I currently experience asthma symptoms 1-2 times a month and normally it coincides with an allergy trigger (like going to someone's house who has a lot of pets.)

My question is, did your asthma symptoms improve over time? If so, how long did it take?

Thanks!

 
Old 02-13-2012, 09:15 AM   #2
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

Yes, the shots helped immensely. I've been on them 3 times in my life....long time allergy sufferer but just developed asthma baout 15 or so years ago. They work great for most people.

 
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:25 AM   #3
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

Thanks for your response! That makes me hopeful!

How long did it take before you starting seeing improvements?

My current allergist doesn't have very good hours so I think I may switch to an allergist closer to work to make the shots more convenient. I'm wondering if I will have to go through the whole allergy testing thing again, or if they will just accept my records from my previous Dr. Going a week without allergy medicine was hell! Now with asthma in the mix, it really scares me!

Guess I have a couple phones calls to make.

 
Old 02-13-2012, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

I've also done the shots for allergic asthma. I would say it took about a year to notice improvement, but I'm very glad I did it.

Some people see improvement in 6 months, but for me, it was 10-11 months. My allergies are mainly seasonal, and late last spring, I said, "Huh. I think I felt significantly worse this time last year. Yay allergy shots!"

 
Old 02-13-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

Thanks Jane! I think I'm definitely going to give it a try.

This may be a silly question- but when you first start out with allergy shots do you have side effects? I spend all my time trying to reduce the allergens in my body, it scares me a little to start injecting them!

 
Old 02-13-2012, 04:05 PM   #6
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

The dose starts out low and increases gradually. How fast it can be increased depends on how well you tolerate the shots.

The only side effects that I ever experienced were redness, swelling and itching at the injection site, sort of like a bug bite. When the swelling got bigger than a quarter, I had to hold off on increasing the dose until my body adjusted. Icing the injection site afterwards and taking an antihistamine beforehand can reduce this.

My allergist gave me an epi-pen to carry on shot days in case I had an anaphylatic reaction, but this never happened to me, it's never happened to anyone in my allergist's office while I was there. Once Jenny here had a bad reaction, but her allergies are extraordinary in severity and in number.

 
Old 02-14-2012, 07:54 AM   #7
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

Ok thanks! That makes me feel better. I don't have severe allergies so I should be ok. I'm sure I'll just be nervous the first time and then I'll get over it. I'm a worrier!

 
Old 02-15-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

Good luck!!! I too was helped tremendously by allergy shots. I don't think I would have ever gotten good control of my asthma without them. i don't have a lot of allergies, but the ones I have (grasses, trees, mold) are off the charts. I was also very nervous before my first shot, they have to tell you about any possible problem you might encounter. Be sure to wait around the office the 30 minutes or so required after getting the shots. I had several systemic reactions while I was trying to reach my maintenance dose, but only 1 that actually kind of scared me. It is really important that you report any reactions that you might have to the dr before getting another shot. Each time I had a systemic reaction, I had to do a major reduction in dosage in order to continue. Also don't take the shot if you are already having asthma problems, or any other respiratory issues for that matter. Where I go, they make me do a peak flow before my shots each time. And if they hear me coughing or anything, they won't give me the shot. I hope the shots work as well for you as they have for me!!!! Btw, for me, they took about 18 months to be effective, but I am sure that was because it took me so long to reach maintenance due to having to decrease the dose so many times.

 
Old 02-16-2012, 06:07 AM   #9
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

Thanks for your response, Sue! I'm glad to hear they helped you so much. It sounds like a good idea. I've been putting off starting them for years but I think it's finally time!

 
Old 02-17-2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

How long do we need to have the shots for? I was recommended them 2 yrs ago (allergy to roaches, cats, dust, pollen, grasses, some trees). Symptoms mainly nasal and eye itching/watering. Had them for 6 yrs or so and then suddenly disappeared last year after a trip to Europe, but unfortunately re-surfaced this year. I didn't take the injections thinking i could "tolerate" it. But recently while testing for other issues (possibly 'exercise induced asthma/ VCD"--they're not sure yet, awaiting ENT appt)....they said i need to get these allergy under control and suggested shots.

I dont' really sneeze awhole lot in the park or outside. i mainly sneeze inside the house...

So, with these shots....when they do take into effect....i should not be getting the watery /itchy eyes/nose symptoms? how do we know when to stop them?

 
Old 02-17-2012, 10:36 AM   #11
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

Hi Fitness! The timeframe usually varies with the person, but normally at least 5 years. I have been getting mine for close to 10 yrs, but my allergies and asthma were pretty severe, and they helped me so much, that I fear stopping & having all of my symptoms return. That said though, they are a huge commitment of time (and money if you don't have good insurance) You need to go at least weekly for months, and then every other week and then once/month. Also you are supposed to stay in the office 30 minutes after each shot to ensure that you don't need treatment for a reaction. I would never have gone thru the hassle for my allergies alone, but when I developed allergic asthma, I just couldn't get it under control & tried the shots as a last resort. They were worth the hassle for me.

 
Old 02-29-2012, 04:04 PM   #12
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Re: Allergy Shots for Allergic Asthma

I went to see a new Allergist today. I'm going to move forward with the shots. I go in on Wednesday for allergy testing (god help me without my Allegra for a week!!!)

He said that I'm going to have to do a Peak Flow in the office before each shot to make sure everything's good with my asthma. It makes me feel good that they take the allergy shots seriously!

Thanks everyone for your feedback!

 
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