Just 10 years ago, allergy shots were very different. In 2003, clearly defined practice parameters were published by the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. They were updated in 2007, and again in 2010. The Allergy Clinic invested tens of thousands of dollars in 2003 and 2004 to totally update our approach to allergy shots.
Now, with RUSH, we are able to make allergy shots work to block your symptoms within two weeks of starting. More importantly, we are often able to stop your allergy shots after three to five years and have the immunologic benefit continue thereafter.
Meanwhile, the bootleg allergists, those not board certified by the American Board of Allergy & Immunology, continue to provide the same allergy shots they did 50 years ago. Does your "allergist" also prescribe bio-identical hormones? Do they take out tonsils and have a nurse who runs the shot room with zero input from the doctors? If so, you're not seeing a board certified allergist. Maybe they are board certified in another specialty, like family practice or ear, nose, and throat. Although they are appropriately trained professionals in their respective fields of expertise, allergy shots are best prescribed by board certified allergists. The family practitioners as well as the ear, nose and throat doctors who send their allergy patients to us don't do their own allergy, because they know that we do it better.
The bottom line is that we base our allergy shot contents on current scientific research. Bootleg allergists base their recipes on tradition; still practicing the same methods they did 50 years ago. Study after study has shown that these obsolete techniques are no more effective than a placebo (sugar pill).
Did you quit taking allergy shots because they just didn't work? Unlike nose sprays and pills, wouldn't it be great to achieve the unique benefit that only allergen immunotherapy provides? Maybe it's time to try allergy shots again. But this time, leave it to the experts.
Note: Information contained in this article should not be considered a substitute for consultation with a board-certified allergist to address individual medical needs.