Some allergy sufferers are experiencing a delayed reaction after allergy shots (myself included). If you’re among those who have experienced this, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know about delayed reactions and how to cope with them.
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What is an allergy shot delayed reaction?
While immediate reactions to allergy shots are relatively common, delayed reactions can also occur. A delayed reaction refers to symptoms that appear hours or even days after receiving an allergy shot. These reactions can be bothersome and may cause discomfort, but they are usually not life-threatening.
My Delayed Reaction After Allergy Shots
This image is of the back of my arm/elbow after I received an allergy shot. If you look closely you can see where there is lots of redness and arm swelling. My injection site was on the back of my arm. My arm was warm to the touch and swollen for a few days.
I wish I had a better picture, but do you know how hard it is to get an image of your own elbow?!
Are delayed reactions after immunotherapy common?
Yes, delayed reactions after allergy shots are common. In fact, they can occur in up to 20% of people who receive allergy immunotherapy. However, don’t let this discourage you from getting the treatment you need. Delayed reactions are usually mild and manageable.
Delayed Allergic Reaction Causes
Several factors can contribute to a delayed reaction after allergy shots. One possible cause is the body’s immune response to the allergen extracts. The immune system may continue to react even after the initial injection, leading to delayed symptoms. Additionally, the dosage or concentration of the allergen in the shot may play a role in triggering delayed reactions.
How to know if you’re having a delayed reaction after getting allergy shots
A delayed reaction to your allergy shot is marked by a range of allergy attack-like symptoms, some of which may not appear until hours or days after you receive the injection. Symptoms of a delayed reaction can include the following:
- Hives (urticaria)
- Itchy eyes
- Itchy skin
- Runny nose
- Swelling at or around the injection site
- Trouble breathing
What to do when experiencing a delayed reaction after allergy shots
If you’re experiencing a delayed reaction after allergy shots, call your provider or seek medical assistance right away. Your provider may recommend the following to make you more comfortable and to manage your symptoms:
- Avoid working out
- Resting as much as possible
- Stay hydrated
- Take antihistamines
Additionally, you should keep a journal of your symptoms, what you were doing, and what time they appeared, so you can discuss your reaction timeline with your doctor or allergist.
How long does a delayed reaction last?
Delayed reactions after allergy shots usually last for a couple of hours or a few days. However, in rare cases, you may experience symptoms that last for up to two weeks. If your symptoms are severe or if you’re having trouble breathing, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Preventing Delayed Reactions After Allergy Shots
There’s no surefire way to prevent delayed reactions after allergy shots. However, there are a few things you can do to lower your risk. These are the things I do after getting my allergy shots, and they haven’t steered me wrong yet:
- Avoid strenuous activity before and after the shots
- Don’t touch the injection site
- Put ice on any swelling
- Stay calm and relaxed during the injection
- Take your allergy medications before you get your shots
If you’re concerned about a delayed reaction after allergy shots, talk to your doctor. They can help you manage your symptoms and make sure you’re receiving the best possible care. Delayed reactions are rare, but they can happen.
A delayed reaction after allergy shots is common, but thankfully they usually don’t last more than a few days. If you have any concerns or experience any unusual symptoms after getting your allergy shot, be sure to talk to your doctor. Additionally, there are allergy shot alternatives to explore.
Have you ever had a delayed reaction after getting an allergy shot? Tell me your story via email, if you would like to share: firstname.lastname@example.org