Allergies are much more than just a runny nose. We all know they can cause the acute misery of sneezing, itchy eyes and nasal congestion, but they affect people in numerous other ways. One of the most common complications of allergies is an increase in upper respiratory infections. URIs include sinusitis, pharyngitis (sore throat), tonsillitis, and the common cold.
Multiple studies have shown that allergy shots will reduce the direct symptoms of allergies, and now a recent study has helped quantify exactly how much we can expect them to help with the complications. Data presented at this year’s AAAAI meeting show that patients who take allergy shots are overall three times as likely to have fewer URIs than patients who do not. The study used a large Medicare database from Florida and compared several thousand allergy shot patients with matched controls. The study found that allergy shot patients were:
- twice as likely to have fewer sinus infections
- four times as likely to have fewer episodes of tonsillitis
- eight times as likely to have fewer sore throats, and
- 35 times as likely to have improvement in nasal polyps.
These findings confirm what we’ve been saying all along — If you’re having complications from allergies, you need to see a board certified allergist so you can get tested, get treated, and get better.