Should I Get a Steroid Shot for My Allergies?
Steroids in general are anti-inflammatory, so it decreases the body’s immune response to certain things. While there are currently no medical studies that show steroid shots as proven treatment for severe allergy sufferers, for some people, it gets the job done. Still, like most things that sound too good to be true, there’s always a catch.
A steroid shot is an aggressive remedy that is used to calm the body’s immune system response. It is administered by an allergist, usually injected into the arm muscle and takes about six hours to go into effect. According to Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergy and immunology clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone Health, while steroid shots for allergies are extremely effective, they should only be administered “when all else fails” because there are long-term side effects of overuse. According to Parikh, if you exceed two shots in the same year (and continue that practice every year), it could lead to weight gain, diabetes, bone deterioration, and cataracts.
Giving others a shot
There is a much less intense route to managing your allergies: steroid-free immunotherapy. This process involves introducing small amounts of the allergen to the body, in an effort to get your body adjust to it and eventually, stop reacting to it. Steroids work on reducing the symptoms of your allergies while immunotherapy works with your body to lessen its defenses. The only downside here is that it takes a year before it can provide relief.
Living with allergies can be a bother, and the sad truth is that you can’t get rid of them. All you can do is suppress them or slowly acclimate to them. Parikh says steroid shots work, but they are not the solution to everybody’s allergies. Be sure that you see your doctor first and foremost, and talk about what solution could work out for you.