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How is immunotherapy different from just general daily exposure to an allergen?

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Questa volta abbiamo cercato: How is immunotherapy different from just general daily exposure to an allergen?

I’m allergic to cats but I want one and I’m looking for options to overcome my allergies other than taking pills.

Immunotherapy, as far as I know, involves insertion of small amounts of cat protein extract into the body over several visits, with the dosage increasing over time. The theory is similar to a vaccine; give the body a controlled amount of what it doesn’t like to teach it how to “beat” it, or, in this case, get used to it.

So how are immunotherapy shots any different from me just burying my face in a cat every day until I’m no longer allergic?

Ed ecco le risposte:

A doctor is monitoring you so if you go get a severe immune response you won’t die, and the doses are graduated so you’re tapered up when burying your face in cat dander doesn’t really control that.

Well this is more anecdotal than anything, but my seasonal allergies from trees and plants is much more mild in the hometown I grew up in.

As soon as I leave the state, my allergies get 10x worse and I look like I have pink eye. (I know pink eye looks way worse than allergies, but mine looked so bad my friends actually thought I had it. Nurses thankfully talked to me about what pink eye really looks like and a quick Google search would have proved that.)

But at the end of the day, doing anything by doctor’s orders are generally safer. You can talk to them about cost, effectiveness, time and if it’s “worth it” for you based on your current health.

I’ve heard old wives tales about how kids that play in the dirt/outside/around allergens at a young age tend to not have as many allergies growing up.

I don’t have any hard evidence for any of this so take this comment with a grain of salt.

Here’s how my allergist explained it to me:

You’ve got a line. If you get the allergen but the amount is below that line, your body doesn’t freak out. If it goes over that line, it freaks out. Right?

The magic of immunotherapy is that they give you an amount below that line, and gradually increase it. Every time you get exposed but it’s under the line, your body says “eh, that stuff’s not so bad” and the line gets raised a bit. On the other hand, every time you get exposed to the allergen and it goes over the line, your body freaks out, and the line goes down. Over time your allergies get worse if your body keeps freaking out.

In some cases, you’ve already been exposed lots, so your line is really freakin’ low. The allergist needs to give you a super-dilute dose in order to sneak under that line. It’s just not something you could do on your own without carefully measured amounts of your allergen.

They make a cocktail of all your allergens after testing

They then give you an increasing doze by subcutaneous injection of increasing concentrations over an eight week period.

They ask you to wait 20 minutes after the injection in case you have an allergic reaction

In my case everything was fine and I never suffered again from dust mite or cat hair

That was 30 years ago

im not a doctor and have only general medical knowledge, but I think of it like this.

If you have two groups of people that aren’t friendly and you try to make them friendly by bringing the entire group over for a party every day, then it’s unlikely they will ever get to the point because they’re more likely to be hostile when one group is exposed to the entire group. They will just start fighting every time.

If however you bring one person over everyday for a while and the group gets used to that person, then start bringing 2 people, then so on and so forth, the chances of success seem better. not sure if it’s true but

I believe the immune system is likely to mount a major response in the face of a perceived intruder versus little to no response when just a tiny little fraction is present. The presence of the little fraction gives the body the ability to ‘realize’ that it’s not something necessary to mount a response against.