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Are Allergy Shots Worth the Cost?

Perhaps you have a dog allergy but adore dogs. Or, maybe you’re allergic to pollen, so springtime confines you to your house. Either way, you may have encountered allergy shots as a potential solution in your search for a long-term fix that goes beyond the temporary effects of traditional treatments, such as corticosteroids, antihistamines, and decongestants.

However, after learning more about allergy immunotherapy and its costs, you might wonder if it’s actually worth it. For most folks, the answer is a hearty yes! In this blog, we’ll discuss allergy immunotherapy and its costs and delve into whether or not allergy shots might be worth it.

Understanding Allergy Immunotherapy

Allergy immunotherapy (AIT) is a treatment that helps desensitize the immune system to an allergen. But before we delve into allergy immunotherapy and how it works, let’s touch on allergies first.

An allergy is a reaction in the body to a foreign substance, such as bee venom, pollen, pet dander, or specific foods. These substances are called allergens. When your body comes into contact with an allergen, your antibodies, blood proteins that counteract a specific antigen, communicate with cells that release chemicals.

This chemical release triggers an allergic reaction and the resulting symptoms, such as itchy eyes, a runny nose, or a scratchy throat. To “train” your body to become less reactive to a particular allergen, allergy immunotherapy repeatedly exposes you to it.

It administers a small dose of the allergen in a tablet, shot, or drop, giving your body the opportunity to recognize it as harmless. This process takes time, slowly training your body to become less sensitive by reducing the production of “blocking” antibodies that trigger the reaction.

Most people see results within the first year, but the best results typically appear in years two and three.

The Research Behind AIT

While allergy immunotherapy might be new to you, it’s not new to the allergy treatment scene. It has been around for over a century, dating back to 1911, when Leonard Noon and John Freeman introduced it.

In the years since its introduction, the research has piled up, with countless studies and trials adding to the abundant research every year. These studies showcase the remarkable efficacy of AIT, demonstrating promising results for people of all ages and with many allergies.

For example, researchers completed a study that evaluated the long-term effects of AIT for allergic rhinitis, finding that both types of AIT are effective in treating it. Furthermore, the study found that the treatment offers clinical benefits and immunological changes consistent with an allergen-specific tolerance.

The research is plentiful, so if you want to learn more about the impressive power of AIT, there’s no shortage of studies and trials to feed your education.

How Much Do Allergy Shots Cost?

Allergy shots aren’t cheap. The average person pays anywhere between $1,000 and $4,000 per year for allergy shots, so prices are fairly steep. For people with tighter budgets, the cost can be downright unfeasible.

However, it’s important to note that there are options out there that help manage the cost. For example, some allergy immunotherapy providers offer tiered pricing plans, which makes AIT more feasible for varying budgets.

Additionally, if you have a health insurance policy, your costs may be as low as your copay or deductible. Most health insurance providers cover allergy immunotherapy, but coverage can vary by plan and provider.

Is AIT Worth the Cost?

For many people, allergy immunotherapy, whether it’s sublingual or subcutaneous, is well worth the cost. AIT can be transformative, helping people find relief from their allergies and enjoy experiences they previously couldn’t.

Of course, since allergy immunotherapy requires a long-term commitment, it might not be worth it to everyone. If you’re looking for a quick fix, allergy immunotherapy might not be the best option. That said, if you want a solution that can help alleviate allergy symptoms and reduce your immune system’s sensitivity to a particular allergen, it can be well worth the cost and time commitment necessary.

Wrapping Up

Allergy immunotherapy is a promising solution for those who suffer from allergies, whether to pet dander or pollen. While the costs can be steep, multiple options are available to combat them, from tiered pricing plans to health insurance coverage.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue allergy immunotherapy depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. But, as with any significant healthcare decision, remember to talk to your healthcare provider before moving forward with your allergy immunotherapy journey.

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