Allergy Shots For Your Child With Allergic Asthma: Yay Or Nay?

If your child is one of the 10% of kids in the United States who have recently reported suffering from asthma or one of the 7.8 American children who experience respiratory allergies, being forced to stand beside them as they endure breathing treatments and miss time from activities because they literally cannot breathe is terrifying. Asthma has no cure and and although it can be managed, treatment plans typically typically include a variety of strong prescription medications that present with the possibility of severe side effects. Instead, treating asthma that is triggered due to allergies, or allergic asthma, is a way to treat the underlying problem, instead of just treating the symptoms.

How Do Allergy Shots For Asthma Work?

Allergy shots, regardless of what they are being used for, all work in a similar manner. First, unless your child has already had allergy testing, they need to have an allergy test done. When the allergens that trigger the asthma attacks have been determined, your child will be given a tiny dose of the substance they cannot tolerate. The goal is to desensitize them to the irritant.

Over time, the dose that he or she will be given increases. Given sufficient treatments, hopefully, their immune system will no longer see the allergen as something that needs to be attacked, which is actually why allergies happen. If your child still suffers from allergies, the reaction may be less severe and many kids that get this type of immunotherapy enjoy a life free of their allergies. By eliminating or limiting the reactions to a known allergen, the symptoms of allergic asthma can be similarly minimized.

How Long Should Your Child Get Allergy Shots?

There is not a one-size-fits all approach to allergy shots, but it is important to see them as a long-term plan to improve your child's heath. It is not unusual to get them twice weekly, for at least three months and then to need biweekly or monthly maintenance shots. Maintenance shots may be part of their lives for up to five years.

It can take up to a year of regular allergy shots to see an improvement. It is also important to understand that allergy shots do not work for everyone, so there is no guarantee of success. For instance, the specific allergen can impact how easy it is to treat the reaction. Hay fever is common and results from allergy shots for it have frequently been possible; while lesser known allergens can be more difficult to isolate and contain.

Should Your Child Take Allergy Shots?

Allergy shots are not appropriate for everyone. If your child suffers from heart disease or if they only suffer from allergies for part of the year, the allergy shots are not recommended. If your child's asthma is not responding to standard treatment, avoiding the triggers for an asthma attack is not possible and you and your child are willing to commit to the time and dedication that allergy shots require, it is a good idea to speak with their pediatrician to see if allergy shots are an appropriate treatment.

In conclusion, the use of allergy shots to treat the allergic reaction that causes asthma attacks in many children is an ideal way to effectively treat the problem without committing to years of prescription medications. Although allergy shots require a prolonged series of shots over a long period of time, successful results have often resulted from their use. For more information on allergy shots, visit sites like