From ‘looking like a zombie’ To Enjoying the Outdoors

Jul 09, 2019
From ‘looking like a zombie’ To Enjoying the Outdoors
Patient Gets Life Back Thanks To Allergy Shots They say it’s the little things in life that matter, and for Teresa Sell, it was a little shot that let those simple but so important things back into her life.

Patient Gets Life Back Thanks To Allergy Shots

They say it’s the little things in life that matter, and for Teresa Sell, it was a little shot that let those simple but so important things back into her life.

Just a walk around the block and the feeling of sunshine on her face was more than she could enjoy.

“We’d have to turn around because I would break out in hives,” says Teresa. “I’d have to rush home to take a shower right away.”

Eight years ago, the outdoors was Teresa’s enemy.

“I looked like a zombie. My eyes were swollen. My face was red. Everyday,” Teresa remembers.

Simply put, Teresa, was miserable. And, she was missing out on life.

After numerous trips to the emergency room when she just couldn’t handle her allergies to basically everything outside in San Antonio, she turned to Dr. Patricia Dinger and Advanced Allergy, Asthma, & Immunotherapy Center for help.

Teresa started Allergy Immunotherapy as a way to desensitize her to her allergens.

Allergy shots work by exposing patients to tiny amounts of whatever they’re allergic to. The amount of allergen in each injection increases gradually over time so the body can build up a tolerance to the allergen.

Allergy shots

Though rare, serious reactions to allergy shots can happen.

That’s why, when Teresa would come in to get her shots, she, like all patients, would be required to wait in Dr. Dinger’s clinic at least 30 minutes after receiving her shot.

Dr. Dinger points out that allergy shots can start improving symptoms by 80% after a year. Some patients even see some relief immediately. Just as importantly, says Dr. Dinger, allergy shots can help prevent the recurrent sinus infections and bronchitis that often accompany allergy symptoms.

For Teresa, it took longer than most, eight years of Allergy Immunotherapy, or AIT, to get to point where she was ready to stop. But Teresa saw promising results each year with less reaction to the allergens that once made her miserable.

Now, thanks to Dr. Dinger and AIT, Teresa can enjoy hours at a time outside. In fact, she shared with us that she recently got to attend a jazz festival, something that would have been impossible before allergy shots.

She calls her results life changing.

“You want to give people their lives back, and that’s what (allergy shots) does,” said Dr. Dinger.

The best part … Teresa’s results are typical. When done correctly patients see a 60-70 percent reduction in their symptoms and a majority report hardly needing to use medication to treat symptoms. Even better, similar studies also show long-lasting symptom improvement in 85-percent of patients who were on AIT

“Patients say all the time they’re so grateful, that they’re so thankful, because they’re able to do all of these things that they’ve never done before,” Dr. Dinger says. “They’re able to be outside in the middle of winter, San Antonio’s typical so-called mountain cedar season, without walking around with a box of tissues or a tissue shoved up their nose to stop the running,” Dr. Dinger adds.

It truly is the little things in life.

Things to know about Allergy Immunotherapy

  • AIT has been around for more than 100 years. Dr. Dinger points out in medicine, things only stay true over time if they work.
  • Not all allergy shots are created equally. Every Board Certified Allergist (and even some who aren’t) can create immunotherapy viles a little bit differently. Results can vary from clinic to clinic.
  • In fact, Dr. Dinger says she has had patients who come to her after having been on allergy shots with a different provider. Dr. Dinger has been able to treat these patients successfully with her AIT serum relieving them of their bothersome symptoms.
  • Serious reactions to allergy shots are rare. However, because they can happen immediately or several hours after treatment, Dr. Dinger wants patients to carry and bring with them epinephrine (Epi Pen) which would be administered in the case of anaphylactic reaction.
  • AIT is customized based on each individual’s allergies. In the rare cases that Dr. Dinger sees a patient not responding to AIT, it is usually due to needing a stronger dose. She says the treatment is dynamic and changes based on each patient’s needs.
  • In children with allergic rhinitis or eczema, AIT can prevent the development of asthma.
  • Allergy shots are covered by most insurances.

Jenna Natho is a former news reporter and on team with Savvy Media PR who helps share important information, health tips, and patients stories for Advanced Allergy.

Jenna Natho