African American children have a higher rate of food allergies than children of other races. About 5.6 million children under the age of 18 in the U.S. have food allergies, according to FARE (Food & Allergy Research Education).
On top of that, many people suffer from outdoor allergies that can be mild in some months and severe in others depending on the weather.
Having an allergic reaction means your immune system is reacting to a foreign substance. In turn, your immune system will respond by manufacturing antibodies that react to a substance called an allergen. Even though the immune system is mistaken, it will react by attacking the allergen and identifying it as harmful. This may cause your body to have a negative reaction that inflames your skin, airways or digestive system.
You may also have allergy-like reactions to hot or cold temperatures, sunlight, or other environmental triggers. You are more likely to develop allergies if your parents, especially your mother, has them. Allergies can also make medical conditions such as sinus problems, eczema, and asthma worse.
There are several methods of treatment that can lessen or eliminate your allergies, but the best solution is to always avoid what is triggering your allergies whenever possible. Methods of treatment include: nasal sprays, skin creams, eye drops, allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots or allergy drops) and oral medication.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy, another term for allergy shots, is done under the skin and is designed to reduce allergy symptoms and severity. Some people who got allergy shots saw their allergies stop altogether.
How do they work?
Allergy shots train your immune system to not react to substances you’re allergic to by gradually exposing it to those specific substances. You will see an allergist for several years and receive injections with specific allergens. Your first dose will be limited and your allergist will gradually increase it over time with the goal being to create desensitization to the allergen.
In the beginning, you will go through a “build-up phase” where you see your allergist once or twice weekly to build up the amount of allergen in your system. Eventually, you will reach the maintenance phase, which is the maximum dose. This phase lasts about three to five years depending on your allergist’s recommendation for the best therapeutic benefit and long-term relief of your symptoms. Your visits to the allergist will also decrease over time until you are only going once a month.