Immunotherapy Specialist

Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center

Allergy and Immunology & Allergy & Asthma located in Kingsport, TN & Johnson City, TN

Allergies are common and cause symptoms that affect the quality of life. Immunotherapy is an allergy treatment option that may help lessen your allergy symptoms or resolve them altogether. The specialists at Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center, which includes the leading physician in the field, Shailee Madhok, MD, offer immunotherapy as a treatment option for allergy sufferers. To learn more about immunotherapy, contact the office in Kingsport and Johnson City, Tennessee; and Abingdon, Virginia, by phone or online today.

Immunotherapy Q&A

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a treatment option for certain types of allergies. During immunotherapy, you receive small doses of the substance responsible for your symptoms. Over time, your provider increases the dose to build up your immunity and desensitize you to the substance.  

Can immunotherapy help me?

The allergy specialists at Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center can help you determine if immunotherapy is a good option for you. The treatment is typically only for the management of specific allergens, including pollen, dust mites, and insect stings.

Before recommending immunotherapy, the team may first conduct a comprehensive evaluation to identify your allergens. In addition to a review of your symptoms and a physical exam, the team also performs skin allergy testing to identify allergens. During the test, your provider pricks the surface of your skin with a suspected allergen and monitors for a reaction. 

In addition to the type of allergies you have, your provider also reviews the effectiveness of your current medication treatment to manage symptoms.

What are the types of immunotherapy?

There are two types of immunotherapy:

Allergy shots

Allergy shots are the most common type of allergy immunotherapy, and a treatment Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center offers. Allergy shots work like vaccines. 

During treatments, your provider injects tiny amounts of the substance causing your symptoms to stimulate your immune response, but not enough to cause an allergic reaction. Over time, your provider gradually increases the amount of the injected allergen to build up your immunity and desensitize you to the allergen. 

You may need 1-3 shots every week for 3-6 months to build up your immunity. Once you reach your maintenance dose, you receive monthly shots for three to five years. 

Though results vary, many people experience a significant reduction in allergy symptoms after receiving allergy shots. This type of immunotherapy changes the immune system, which may help prevent the development of new allergies and asthma. 

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)

SLIT is another type of immunotherapy that serves as an alternative to allergy shots. During SLIT, you take allergy tablets that contain a tiny amount of the substance that causes your allergic reactions. Like allergy shots, your dose gradually increases over time.

Though SLIT may be preferred by those fearful of needles, this type of immunotherapy may not prevent you from developing new allergies or asthma-like allergy shots.

To learn more about immunotherapy and how it can help you get relief from your allergy symptoms, contact Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center by phone or online today.