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Allergy shots could cure your allergies in 7 years

March 20, 2012 2:54:02 PM PDT
If allergies bother you only in the spring and summer, over the counter allergy drugs may be all you need.

If you have dust or cat and dog allergies as well, allergy shots can be a cure.

But, it may take as long as five to seven years.

It means serious thought and making a decision to follow through.

When drugs don't work for allergies, allergy shots may be the answer.

The season for trees and grass allergies has started early this year.

When 20-year-old Casey Farrington was a little kid, suffering from those and other allergies was a big part of her life.

She had a red nose all the time.

"I was always stuffy and sneezing. My mom took me to a pet store, and I petted the bunny, and I swelled up so badly that they almost took me to the hospital," Farrington said.

When medications didn't work, allergy shots did.

"After five years, every time I got the shot it helped," Farrington said.

Five years! Yes, and sometimes even longer.

"Allergy shots are a commitment, but for those who embark on the shots, there's light at the end of the tunnel. They will be better," said Dr. Jeffrey Sugar, Allergist.

Shots mean an office visit every couple of weeks to once a month.

If you stop, the shots stop working.

After about three years of getting shots, Dr. Sugar does the allergy testing again, to see how effective the shots have been.

Casey still reacted to the tests, and her parents were careful to remind her to see Dr. Sugar every few weeks for a total of seven years.

"We started to see it get progressively better over the years, her grades were better, she was more focused, it really made a big difference," said John Farrington, Casey's father.

It meant commitment.

"All I know is that I have no symptoms, and I look at my friends who have allergy symptoms during the season and I feel so bad because I feel perfectly fine, but it's because of those seven years that I stuck with it," Farrington said.

Casey started her shots at about the earliest time she could.

Dr. Sugar says age five is the starting time, though a sufferer can begin even in their sixties.

He says about a third of patients get better completely after five years or so, about a third get symptoms again months to years later, and a third don't get better and still need medications.

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