Allergy Shots (allergen immunotherapy)?

Hi, Does anyone have experience with traditional allergy shots, for example to desensitize to tree pollens?

I did shots for 30+ years with success, mostly giving to myself. Had to back down from max dose because symptoms returned. Last few years also used NeilMed sinus rinse daily with success. Off allergy shots last few months in search of mast cell doc. Also diagnosed with hypogammaglobulinemia. Just saw Johns Hopkins immunologist. New skin testing. Will see doc again in a few months about treatment for gamma globulin deficiency. He warned he may recommend getting shots again at clinic. I don’t think so: only one here tiny waiting room with many coughing on each other! Try the sinus rinse–use distilled water.

My allergist refuses to give me any desensitization for Tree and grass pollen. I am that allergic. You should talk with your allergist and see if it is an option for you.

Thanks for your reply. In the interim, I have been getting allergy shots for a couple of months now without apparent effect. Even if shots work for me, they are not expected to work yet, or as soon as this spring. So, I am very curious what you do to avoid or otherwise cope with the pollen annually.

(please see my earlier post from today - this one was an errant duplicate I don’t know how to delete)

Hi Matoaka,
Thanks for your reply. I have few nasal symptoms but am happy rinse works for you and appreciate such a specific tip. Does your chronology indicate that the mast cell concerns led to less allergy shots? If so, what symptoms returned? My allergist insists I get shots and wait 30 minutes only under her care, not even by a PCP or a nurse trained for maintenance doses, so perhaps it is better you are not self-administering. But, did your JH doc warn against the shots because the gamma globulin deficiency leaves you at risk for infection from the clinic? Or because the shots are themselves bad for you?

1-I was running out of vaccine & tapered off while searching for mast cell care-thought might change. Fingers crossed that Neil-Med rinse would be enough–so far OK.
2-JH immunologist I saw for gamma globulin deficiency in Dec. can’t see me until May for followup. I’ll let hematologist know because she felt I need treatment soon, which she could do locally but wanted confirmation.
3-JH doc did some skin tests–I could see reactions but of course don’t know to what or how bad or if he recommends shots again. No report as I’ve gotten from my allergist all these years. He did not indicate shots would be harmful, just questioned if sinus rinse would be enough, based on his tests.
4-I’ve done my own shots successfully many years. Reasons–I’m busy so keep on schedule much better when I can do at night or when I’m available instead of going to office. Years ago it was convenient for nurses at work to keep my vaccine & give shots; but one time the doc office sent 10 x the correct dilution, the nurse didn’t notice, & I got a huge skin reaction: I’m careful with myself! AND, I am so susceptible to germs that I stay away from people who may be sick…as much as possible, like those in doc waiting rooms. I was in urgent care for norovirus & developed my first ever case of pink-eye although I otherwise was at home & no exposure to those germs.
5-Nobody has addressed my questions as to the relationship between gamma globulin deficiency & mast cell disorder & allergies. The hematologist wrote that gamma globulin deficiency could be related to my EDS. I suspect nobody knows, so I do my best to read everything and use my judgment & logic!
Best wishes!

I have severe environmental allergies. What I have to do avoid outside as much as possible. When I do go outside, I wear a doctor’s mask and pending how high the pollen count is,I double it. I downloaded an allergy app that tells me the pollen counts in my area and I checked it daily. I’ve been wearing the doctors mask probably since July of 2016 and that has helped greatly.

Thanks for your thorough, and quick, reply. I also have EDS but no sign of
a gamma globulin deficiency, so I don’t have much to add. Your approach
does seem sensible to me; best wishes!

Thank for your reply. It sounds like we have similar strategies to
minimize pollen exposure:
Beige masks (the color of my skin) are surprisingly hard to find, but I got
a doctor’s one called Honeycomb on Amazon I sometimes use only as a
cosmetic cover mask. I upgraded to N95 masks. 3M’s model 8511 has a
built-in valve that makes it easier to breath. I store it in a plastic
zip-lock slider bag between uses. I often also wear a rain suit, etc.
The various apps I found only summarize the data and tend to do so
differently. I concluded the best local data sources tend to be in’s
If you have questions or suggestions, kindly let me know.

Hi Matoaka,
About 1 year later so I was checking for an update on your experience with allergy shots. Did you resume shots? Also, did the JH immunologist prove helpful on gammaGD (or the Mast)?