Allergy Sufferers Give Themselves Shots At Home - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

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>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Will they melt? Good Day tests Walmart ice cream sandwiches

    Will they melt? Good Day tests Walmart ice cream sandwiches

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:48 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:48:05 GMT
    A summertime treat makes headlines for its reported unusual longevity. A mom in Cincinnati, Ohio told WCPO-TV that she left her son's Walmart ice cream sandwich outside overnight- and it never fully melted!
    A summertime treat makes headlines for its reported unusual longevity. A mom in Cincinnati, Ohio told WCPO-TV that she left her son's Walmart ice cream sandwich outside overnight- and it never fully melted!
  • Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Citizens concerned over Fulton County road

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:44:05 GMT
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
    A local advocate group says their part of town has been neglected for years by the Georgia Department of Transportation. The group "Citizens for Better Roads in South Fulton County" says finally, improvements are coming to I-285 where they live.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

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