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Allergy Sufferers Find Relief in Shot Therapy | Health

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Allergy Sufferers Find Relief in Shot Therapy

LAS VEGAS -- The windy weather is making allergy sufferers miserable as it blows pollen around the valley. Instead of enjoying the warm weather, allergy sufferers are sneezing, itching their eyes and battling fatigue.

There's relief and not just in form of pills. More people are opting for allergy shots. One local specialist says allergy shots are becoming more popular. Life is much different for Shawn Vogann than it was just a few years ago. His asthma and allergies were so bad he'd wind up in the hospital five or six times a year.

"You can't breathe. You can't get enough air in and flu like symptoms sometimes," said Vogann.

A windy day would force Vogann to stay indoors hiding from the pollen in the air. That misery continued until he started getting allergy shots. He then began to notice a difference in a matter of weeks.

"This is the best thing that has ever happened to me," said Vogann.

Allergy specialist Dr. Joel Katz says unlike prescription drugs, the shot has a long-term impact. First, a patient must be tested to see what triggers their allergies. Those allergens are then used in a solution that is administrated in the form of a shot.

"We dilute it down to a very weak solution and we bring people in for a series of shots where we progressively go through the different vials and get them to a point where they are tolerating the strong allergens without having allergic reactions," said Dr. Katz.

Reports show that allergy shots can actually save in health care costs over time by cutting  down the amount of doctor visits and medications in children.

"Because of many changes to insurance and because prescription medications have become much more expensive, allergy shots are turning out to be a very reasonable option," Dr. Katz said.

But for patients like Vogann, the allergy shots are making even windy days more enjoyable.

"I'm loving life right now," he said.

How many shots a patient gets depends on the individual. The shots may be every other day, weekly or monthly.