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I haven't been to the allergist in a while. The one I used to see has retired, so I went to a new one today. Really just wanted to establish as a patient and ask a couple of questions. I have asthma, which has been treated for years by a pulmonologist who I really like, chronic idiopathic hives and pollen allergies. The latter two conditions are really what I want the allergist to help with, though they always ask about the asthma. Everything is currently pretty well controlled by medication, much of it available over the counter. I was slammed by pollen a couple of weeks ago when it exploded earlier than usual with the warm winter we've been having, but the allergic reaction is now under control.
I chose the new doctor because she's also an immunologist (helpful for the chronic hives), she's on my insurance plan and the location is reasonable. The practice is owned by a larger company that seems to have bought up most of the allergy practices around here. It's clear from their website that they give a lot of allergy shots. There's a big sign on the door giving the hours for allergy shots. Most of the other people in the waiting room were there for allergy shots. While I was talking to the doctor, she recommended allergy shots.
Do allergy shots actually work?
It felt very much like a profit center for them, the way they pushed the shots. I honestly don't see why I need them. It seems like a lot of time and money spent in a year-round effort to make things a little better during the 4-6 weeks that pollen really kicks up. My insurance essentially doesn't cover them -- there's a high deductible and a limit of six treatments per year, so it's entirely possible that I'd hit the 7th treatment before I maxed out the deductible.
I also don't understand them in the context of my layperson's knowledge of allergies, which is that you will always have at least one exposure to something without a reaction and then develop the allergy, and the reaction can get worse with repeated exposure. The recommendations to manage allergies always involve avoiding exposure to the allergens -- like removing rugs from your home if you're allergic to dust or washing your hair and changing your clothes when you come inside if you're allergic to pollen. So I don't see have frequent exposure to increasing amounts injected into to you would be a good thing to do, let alone an effective treatment.
The other things we discussed during my visit, like dosages for antihistamines and a different type of drug that's available for the hives, were reasonable, and the doctor moved on from the shot recommendation pretty quickly when I said I'd think about it. So I'm willing to see her again. I just don't get understand the shots.
- Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
- Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
Gone but not forgotten:
- Silver Trek 2000 road bike
- Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles