Can allergy shots actually increase sensitivity in some?

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Wazzou
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/14/2010 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, thanks for reading my post...

In May I underwent skin testing for molds, pollens, house dust, etc. I also did blood testing for food allergies. It was discovered that I'm extremely allergic to all things outdoors and I have a high sensitivity to molds and house dust. Through my own detective work I have found that any exposure to mold & dirty indoor air puts my system over the edge and gives me symptoms, which for me are inflammation in my inner ear - which leads to temporary hearing loss and some dizziness. The official dx is Meniere's Syndrome, but my allergy doctor's analogy for my case is that I have asthma of the inner ear.

Once I discovered that unclean indoor air, mold spores are my biggest enemy, I did everything to improve my indoor environment and avoid any indoor or outdoor mold situations. I bought a purifier for the bedroom, HEPA vacuum, started using N95 masks for cleaning, etc. The doctor put me on allergy meds: singulair, allegra, zyrtec, etc. After 2 years of suffering (probably longer) I got better! After this, whenever I had an attack, I could trace it back to an exposure - usually something that involved mold. Other than the occasional exposure I became reliably better for a month and half. This is while pollen counts are high. I think the allergy meds have kept reaction to those allergens at bay.

Meanwhile the doctor put me on allergy shots for the molds, house dust, dog dander, etc, which we started at the end of June. Due to my immune system being on overload, we decided to wait on the outdoor allergy shots until late fall/winter, when those allergens go away.

So, I've been getting the mold house dust allergy shots for 2 1/2 months. I have noticed that for the past month it has been tougher and tougher to get a good day anymore. I seem to have become more sensitive to indoor allergens. I have determined that in the last month and half I've become sensitive to the A/C system in my office. I do better when I work from home. We have replaced the air filters at work, which gave me short-term relief. Now, I'm basically having chronic symptoms. Earlier this summer, I had no symptoms at work.

My question is this: Can allergy shots actually create higher sensitivity for some people?

I cannot think of anything else that has really changed in the last couple of months, other than me getting allergy shots each week. I'm concerned, because the last thing I need is to become more sensitive to these things with winter coming and my time indoors increasing substantially. Has this been the experience of some folks on here? All you ever find on the internet is how allergy shots will make you less sensitive over time.

If they have made me more sensitive, am I screwed at this point, or would discontinuing the shots roll back my sensitivity to where it was before?

I should mention that I have discovered food allergies too and I have been on a strict food rotation diet for this entire time. I'm also gluten, dairy, yeast, sugar free.

Thank you so much for reading this long post and providing me with any personal experience you may have with allergy shots.

Mike

Thank

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 22058
   Posted 9/14/2010 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
My daughter has severe allergies and have been on allergy injections for over a year now. In the beginning, the day of her injection her reactions became more pronounced. One time the injection site became a red welt because she ingested something that she was allergic to the same day. So I called the allergist and she told me that when you are in the beginning phase of allergy injections, it can increase your sensitivity and when you are around allergens it can be more aggravating. She also told me that once the allergy shots become more effective over time, this hypersensitivity should lessen and it has. My daughter is on bi-weekly shots now and is doing ok. Sometimes though her allergies still get the best of her in which she has to take Allegra but for the most part they (the shots) have been helping her tremendously.
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Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3541
   Posted 9/16/2010 8:02 PM (GMT -6)   
When I started my allergy shots I got reactions to them. They had to reduce the concentration because I was so sensitive. It took a long time to build up to my peak tolerance, and even then I had to reduce the volume of the shots because they were hurting too much.

I'm doing very well now!!! I no longer react to molds, pollens, grass ... My two weekly shots are lots better than running for an antihistamine all the time. It's reduced my sinus infections too.

I don't go to the doctor's office for the injections. My husband gives them. When I forget and he goes off to work I just give them to myself in the thighs.
Alcie
 
 

Joan M
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1623
   Posted 9/17/2010 7:04 AM (GMT -6)   
yes i have heard that allergy shots can make you worse. tell the allergist that you feel worse. this did not happen to me but have heard this from three people so i guess it is true.

best wishes to you. (sometimes docs can be dogmatic but i believe you are the best judge of your own body so if doc is unreasonable...try to find someone else!)

Wazzou
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/7/2010 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for the replies. Sorry I haven't checked back in awhile.

I have become even more hypersensitive to inhaled indoor air offenders. I'm set off so easily. I'm nervous about turning the heat on here in a couple of weeks. My doctor last time said that it is due to my immune system being on overload from the fall allergies. Makes some sense, except the pollen counts are getting pretty low now, so I don't think pollen should be having a big effect at this point, yet I'm still having problems.

Alcie, I should have mentioned that I have not had a reaction yet to any of the shots given in the past 3 months or so. Does it make sense that I can become more hypersensitive to the allergens even though I haven't had any reactions after the shots are given? I guess on paper that doesn't make sense, does it?! If I'm more hypersensitive because of the shots, I should not have been able to progress this far with the dosing. Then again, there are thousands of mold species and the shots only cover a small range. It might make sense that one's sensitivity could increase to mold species not included in the shots, just due to getting a regular weekly exposure to similar molds. Now, that does make sense to me. I have heard/read that allergy shots for molds are only moderately effective, and this could be why - there's just so many species out there, you can't cover them all.

Joan I will take your advice and tell the allergist that I feel worse over the last few months and that my gut is telling me to stop with the allergy shots. I'll see what he says to that. I really need to hear something that is confidence boosting to continue. Almost everything else he has done for me has been helpful in my recovery. I've been very hopeful about the shots as well, but I may be one of those exceptions to the rule.

Any chance you remember one of the three people who told you about allergy shots making them worse? Maybe I can contact them and get their story.

Thank you,
Mike

Sodaclear
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/16/2011 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Mike,

I have had a similar response to yours. I'm allergic to basically everything outdoors, and dust, and cat hair (not mold). My symptoms have gotten much much worse. So bad that currently I've been suffering severe allergy symptoms for a week, and a month ago had such a bad attack i got sick for two days. I am so worried that this is a permanent thing, and have been trying to figure out if I should stick with the shots, in the hopes that this is a temporary problem and they will improve, or stop and hope that my system goes back to how it was.
I tried communicating the problem to my doctor/shot therapists, and was told that they've never heard of such a thing, and doubted the possibility. They insisted I must not remember how bad my symptoms usually are.
I would love to hear what you found out. Hope it was better news than I got. At least I know I'm not the only one who's had this problem
Cheers
~S

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3541
   Posted 3/16/2011 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
The post you found is an old one. It would be great if you would start a new thread and introduce yourself. I'm glad you found us!

When I first started on the shots I reacted to them. The lowest dose they usually give was too strong for me! It took me several months to get up to the dose I currently take. The reaction to too high a dose should be a skin reaction - red wheal, itching.

They might have to start with just a few things in the shot, not everything you are allergic to in one shot. I get two a week in opposite arms. I reacted to each shot differently. I also had a lot of pain with the 5ml shots. My allergist allowed me to cut down to 3 ml, which is working fine.

I'm so glad I stuck with it! I have NO allergy symptoms from dust, mold, grass, tree pollen now.
Alcie
 
 

ab.sense
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/25/2012 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I see that this is an old post, but I am having some severe, daily hypersensitivity reactions, which has been going on for months. My more detailed story of my issues is here: http://hypersensitivetolife.blogspot.com/


But to summarize, I had troubles with sinus infections, had scratch tests, was allergic to nearly everything outdoor as well and cat dander/mold etc, but no food allergies. I also am allergic to sulfa, but this is the only drug I know of.

I received injections for 2 1/2 years (after only a year I noticed an improvement in that I was rarely getting ill with sinusitis!). This fall however, I developed asthma, and as "uncontrollable" asthma is a means to stop injections, I have not been back on them since, but 3 months after the asthma diagnosis, I began getting severe hives, another problem I had never experienced. I now have to use a nebulizer almost daily and also have hives almost daily, even after doses of prednisone and even a steroid injection.

I would love to hear an update as you will now have had more time with your injections.

Thank you for your time and although I would love not feeling alone and finding answers, I hope that your problems did not continue or worsen like mine!!

schaper
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/8/2013 3:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I suffered terrible allergies this spring and developed asthmatic bronchitis twice.  I was fatigued and had no energy to do anything. When I tried the gym my lungs felt like they were being squeezed when I attempted cardio.
 
 I felt so much better in mid-June was allergy season was over and decided to start on allergy shots so I wouldn't have to go through that again.  My first appointment was late June and a week or so later my ears started to hurt but I just thought it was due to my chronic wax build-up in my ears so I got my ears cleaned.  My ear pain got worse and I was put on drops but that didn't cure anything.  Went back to ENT and he said my ears were fine but I was most likely suffering from allergies and had inflamed Eustachian tubes.  I decided to stop getting the allergy shots because since starting them, the fatigue has come back and I've developed the sharp ear pain which has since stopped since I stopped the shots.  I am still VERY lethargic though.
 
Does anyone know how long it takes for the effects of the allergy shots to get out of your system?
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