Allergy Sufferers Give Themselves Shots At Home

FOX Medical Team

Allergy Sufferers Give Themselves Shots At Home

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA, Ga. -

Kelsi Swenson has had seasonal allergies for years. But when she moved from Boston to Atlanta in 2013, she says, they hit her like a freight train. Swenson says, “I had to take a few days off from work. I thought I had Mono. I thought I might've had the flu."

A skin-test showed the 23-year was allergic to tree pollen, molds and a lot of other things. So, Dr. Kingsley Chin of Piedmont Ear Nose and Throat and Related Allergy recommended allergy shots, with a twist. If Kelsi went through 3 months of training in his office, she could give herself the shots, right at home.

She was a little hesitant. Swenson says, "When I went to the first training session, I was terrified. But they did a really good job of making me feel really comfortable and informed me of everything I needed to know."

But, while “do-it-yourself” allergy shots may be a lot more convenient, Peachtree Allergy and Asthma Clinic's Dr. Carol Wiggins says they're not safe. The reason? She says you're being injected with the very substances to which you're allergic, and that can trigger a severe, even life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

If you're alone, with no one trained to help you, Dr. Wiggins says your epinephrine injector may not be enough to stop the reaction.

Dr. Wiggins says "Occasionally, we have reactions here in the office that do not respond to a single dose of epinephrine, and occasionally intravenous medications, and oxygen may need to be administered."

Dr. Chin says training is critical. He says, “One of our requirements for doing it at home is an adult must be present. The adult must be trained on how to give life-resuscitating issues, like epinephrine. Or, (to) call 911." Dr. Chin feels that with training, Kelsi is just as safe injecting herself at home as she would be in a doctor's office. If patients live alone, he says, they ca inject themselves at work. Chin says, “They just need to tell their colleague, "I'm going to the bathroom, I'm giving myself an injection. Just be around in case there is an issue."

Kelsi Swenson says she’s now comfortable injecting herself at home. And she’s starting to feel a little better, but knows getting relief is a long process.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) is firmly against at-home allergy immunology. In a 2011 task force report, the nation’s largest group of allergists said it’s critical to have trained physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants administer the shots. The AAAII says allergy immunology should be given only in a medical setting with the appropriate equipment, medication and personnel to respond to an emergency like anaphylaxis.

Last month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first under-the-tongue allergy immunology treatment. Oralair is for hay fever caused by grass pollens. The first dose has to be given in a health provider’s office. But, after that, the patient can use the treatment at home.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Recipes: A healthy take on Southern favorites

    Recipes: A healthy take on Southern favorites

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:39:34 GMT
    We challenged chef Curtis Aikens to lighten up two Southern classics, starting with sweet potato pie.Which usually involves a couple of sticks of butter, loads of sugar and buttermilk.
    We challenged chef Curtis Aikens to lighten up two Southern classics, starting with sweet potato pie.Which usually involves a couple of sticks of butter, loads of sugar and buttermilk.
  • FOX Comedies Return To Tuesday Night

    FOX Comedies Return To Tuesday Night

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:36:32 GMT
     Two of the hottest comedies on FOX return Tuesday night, so get ready for some new laughs with old friends!   First up, "New Girl" is
    Two of the hottest comedies on FOX return Tuesday night, so get ready for some new laughs with old friends! First up, "New Girl" is back for a fourth season, and cast members say expect a bit of a "reboot" of the series. What does that mean? Star H
  • Get Ready To "Rock" At Johns Creek Music School

    Get Ready To "Rock" At Johns Creek Music School

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:01:43 GMT
    It's a unique music school where kids jam out to The Beatles and Green Day, and learning to play an instrument also means learning to play with others.
     It's a unique music school where kids jam out to The Beatles and Green Day, and learning to play an instrument also means learning to play with others. There are nearly 150 School of Rock locations around the world, and now there's one in Johns Creek.
Powered by WorldNow

WDCA My20 & my20dc.com
5151 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Phone: (202) 244-5151
Email Us

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices