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Allergies are caused when your immune system perceives a foreign substance as a threat. Allergens are these foreign substances, which don’t cause a reaction for some people.
Pollen is present at certain times of the year. Your immune system will react to these allergens by causing symptoms like sneezing and nasal congestion. It may also cause itchy or watery eyelids.
There is no cure for seasonal allergies. It’s also called hay fever. There are several medical treatments that can be used to treat allergies. These include:
- mast cell stabilizers
Corticosteroids are available in the form of nasal sprays and topical creams. They can also be taken as pills or long-lasting injections. They suppress inflammation that is caused by an overactive immune system.
Injections of corticosteroids are the last resort when it comes to seasonal allergies. When other treatments fail and symptoms interfere with daily activities, they may be prescribed. These injections are not the same as immunotherapy injectables, which do not contain steroids. Learn more about the benefits, risks, and costs of steroid injections for allergies.
For how long can a steroid injection be used to treat allergies?
The long-lasting steroid injections for allergies may last from three weeks to three months. The steroid slowly releases into your system during this period.
You may only need one shot during an allergy season if you use a long-lasting vaccine. Long-lasting shots are not without risk. There is no way to remove a steroid if it causes side effects.
Few studies have examined the effectiveness of steroid injections over time. With prolonged use, the risk of serious side effects increases significantly.
Cost of allergy steroid shots
The price of an allergy steroid injection depends on several factors, including the type, concentration, and quantity of the corticosteroid. The price of kenalog-40, triamcinolone acetonide (triamcinolone acetonide), can vary from $15 to $100 for an injection. This does not include the cost of having your doctor administer it.
As steroid injections are not a first-line treatment, your insurance may not cover them. Discover what your insurance plan covers.
Allergy symptoms may be relieved by steroid injections. Short and long-term consequences may result from their use.
Short-term side effects
The short-term effects of corticosteroid injections can be mild or severe. These include:
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Easy bruising, thinning, and skin
- facial swelling and redness
- High blood sugar
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Mood swings and behavioral changes
- fluid and salt retention
- stomach upset
- Weakness near the injection site
Long-term side effects
The risk of serious side effects increases if you take steroid injections for a long period of time. Side effects that can last a long time include:
- Avascular necrosis
- Osteoporosis and Fractures
- Cushing syndrome
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Herpes Keratitis
- Hormonal suppression
- peptic Ulcers
- Psychological symptoms such as depression and psychosis
- severe hypertension
- Venous thromboembolism
Chronic conditions and their side effects
Because corticosteroid injections suppress inflammation and your immune response, they may hide signs of infection and illness, which puts you at risk.
A steroid injection for allergies can have serious side effects on people with certain chronic conditions. Tell your doctor or allergy specialist if you suffer from (or have had) the following conditions:
- fungal infections
- heart attack
- mental illness
- Untreated infections
- heart disease
- Herpes Keratitis
- bowel or kidney disease
- myasthenia gravis
- a thyroid disorder
Tell your doctor about any medications, vitamins, or nutritional supplements you are taking. Children and women who are breastfeeding, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant are not recommended for steroid injections.
Your doctor can help you determine the best treatment for your allergies based on your current health conditions, medical history, and symptoms.
Does every alternative treatment contain steroids?
Steroid shots and allergy shots are two different things. Allergy injections are a form of immunotherapy and do not contain steroids.
Allergy injections are given over several years. Each shot contains only a small amount of allergen. The amount of allergen is increased gradually over the first 3 to 6 months and then maintained by administering shots less frequently for 3 to 5 years.
Allergy shots may eventually reduce allergy symptoms and prevent them, but they do not work immediately. It can sometimes take up to a year before the allergy shots provide relief.
Nasal corticosteroids can also be used to treat seasonal allergies. These drugs are steroid-containing, but they have a lower risk of side effects than steroids in pills and shots because they only target one area of the body. Nasal corticosteroids suppress allergic responses and relieve allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion and runny noses.
Hay fever symptoms can be treated with antihistamines and decongestants. Combination drugs may also help. Antihistamines inhibit a histamine-releasing protein that is released by your immune system when it encounters an allergy. Decongestants relieve nasal congestion. Some allergy medicines contain both antihistamines and decongestants to provide optimal care.
Mast cell stabilizers
They are used to treat allergy symptoms like itchy eyes or a runny nasal passage. Mast cell stabilizers in eye drops and nasal sprays stop the release of histamine at the site where they are used.
Alternative therapies and lifestyle changes are also effective treatments for allergies.
- Avoiding allergens
- Allergy-proofing your workplace and home
- nasal rinses
Long-lasting steroids can relieve seasonal allergy symptoms. They can cause serious side effects if taken long-term. They are generally used as a last resort for severe allergies and when other treatments have failed.