Allergy shots (immunotherapy) is a great option for a lot of people. Sometimes, even on daily allergy medicine, it doesn't relieve your symptoms. You or your kids may still be sneezing and wheezing.
To be tested for allergies, you must be off all allergy medicine for a week before the test so the antihistamine doesn't mask the results. Usually, the office will pick an off season time for the testing. The first time we tried, #1 son couldn't go a whole week without an antihistamine. He actually broke out in hives because his allergies were so bad, so we scheduled the next try for November.
The kids start by laying on their stomach while our Wonderful Shot Nurse starts the test. She marks multiple rows and columns on the kids back with pen, that shows her where to administer the serum. It's not a needle, but a sharp scratch on the back that introduces the serum under the skin. The kids need to lay still for 2o minutes, not easy with an itchy back. We would usually have the kids bring their Gameboy to keep them busy.
The Wonderful Shot Nurse checks every 5 minutes, to make sure the kids aren't having a reaction and to see how big the welts are. Each column is in order, she can tell what they're allergic to by just looking at each area. After 20 minutes, she measures the welts-that determines what they're allergic to and what to add to their serum. The best part is when she rubs their back with an anti-itch cream.
Once the serum comes in, you start allergy shots twice a week (one injection in each arm or 4 injections per week). It's a MUST to stay 20 minutes after each injection. Since you are being injected with what you are allergic to, there is a possibility of anaphylaxis. You monitor the size of the welts on your arm, that determines when you are able to move to once a week injections.
It's a long process, it takes anywhere from 3 to 5 years. But having your body slowly build up a tolerance to what you are allergic to is worth it. You don't have to take antihistamines for the rest of your life!