A study in February’s Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology examines the impact of immunotherapy (shots) in older individuals suffering with allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Allergy shots are proven to benefit children and adults, but there has not been as much research conducted in the senior population. And yet, research points to the fact that hay fever is common in people over the age of 65.
The study included sixty 65- to 75-year-old patients suffering with seasonal allergic rhinitis and grass pollen allergy. The patients, randomly sorted and placed on shots or a placebo, were monitored for three years, and the results indicated a “significant decrease” in symptoms (down 55%) and use of allergy medicines (down 64%) after the third grass pollen season in the group on shots. There was no significant change in the placebo group.
“Older people who suffer from hay fever may have health challenges that younger people do not,” said allergist Ira Finegold, MD, ACAAI past president. “Hay fever is often ignored in older patients as a less significant health problem because of diseases such as asthma, coronary heart disease, depression and high blood pressure. Also, some baby boomers might not realize they have allergies, and their physicians might not suggest allergy shots. The research indicated that allergy shots were extremely effective for this group.”
The study concluded shots in our senior population is safe and effective and produces a comparable long-term immune response to those found in studies of younger patients. This is good news for those over the age of 65 wanting relief from their seasonal allergies. To find relief for your allergy symptoms, call Dr. Damin at Allergy Partners at (502) 882-2063.