The concept behind immunotherapy (allergy shots) is that the immune system can be desensitized to specific allergens that trigger allergy symptoms.
The allergen(s) are identified through a combination of a medical evaluation performed by a trained allergist / immunologist and allergy diagnostic testing (skin or allergy blood tests).
Allergy immunotherapy is a proven effective treatment for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma and stinging insect allergy. It also may be effective in some individuals with atopic dermatitis (eczema) if they have allergies to airborne allergens. Currently, immunotherapy for food allergies is not recommended and strict avoidance of the food is advised although investigations with oral desensitization for food allergies are in progress in the United States.
Immunotherapy can potentially lead to lasting remission of allergy symptoms, and it may play a preventive role in the development of asthma and new allergies.
Learn more about immunotherapy.
Video: Are allergy shots effective?
An allergist / immunologist, sometimes referred to as an allergist, has specialized training and experience to provide immunotherapy treatment. Adverse reactions to immunotherapy are rare but do require immediate medical attention. That is why allergy shots should be administered in a medical facility appropriately outfitted with equipment and staff capable of identifying and treating these reactions.
The AAAAI's Find an Allergist / Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.