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Yearly cough - allergy shots?
alanneil posted:
I'm age 57, and have had coughs on on off throughout the year for most of my life. Most recently it started with what felt like a viral infection, when that and other symptoms finally cleared I was left with the usual productive cough and post nasal drip, into it's 5th week now. I saw an allergist yesterday, who recommended testing followed by 2 years of inoculations. Has anyone had positive results with allergy shots, most specifically as geared toward dealing with a similar condition? His exam seemed biased toward finding that the patient needs this lengthy and costly treatment, whether or not there are other alternatives.

currently using Veramist (1 week) and rinsing once a day with Neilmed. Cough seems to be letting up somewhat, but I deal with this SO often, and as a professional singer/entertainer it has a highly negative impact on my career.

Grateful for opinions on other alternatives, and wondering if anyone has had a positive outcome with allergy shots.
Aqua14 responded:
Did the allergist listen to your chest and/or have you perform a lung function test? The three main cause of chronic cough in adults are postnasal drip (usually due to allergies), asthma, or acid reflux. It's very common for people with asthma to have a lingering cough after getting over the cold or flu, sometimes for 4 - 6 weeks.

I think allergy testing would be a good idea, but it is kind of premature for the allergist to advocate for allergy shots unless / until he knows the outcome of the allergy testing. (For example, if you were allergic to any foods, allergy shots are not available.) Additionally, most allergists recommend that allergy shots continue for 3 - 5 years, not just 2 years. And allergy shots really don't start working until after about a year.

For the short term, you'd have to take medications to reduce symptoms of allergies, and medications for asthma if you have that.

FWIW I'm in my 5th year of allergy shots and I have allergies, asthma and acid reflux. For me, allergy shots have been very effective in markedly reducing my allergies and thus improving my asthma. I still do have to take medications to control symptoms, but my life is much less restricted and symptomatic than it used to be before shots.

Your allergist sounds a little iffy to me, knowing what I know now, so if it was me I'd probably visit another allergist just to get a second opinion. If you do stick with this allergist, make sure that the allergy testing he does is skin prick testing not blood testing, which is much less sensitive and specific than the skin prick tests. (He may also do intradermal testing if you have only mild allergies that don't show up on the skin prick tests). After you get the test results, then you and the allergist can discuss appropriate treatments, both short- and long-term.

Hope this info helps you a bit. Take care & good luck. Judy
It's never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Eliot. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
coughy16 responded:
I am in total agreement with Judy's wise advice! I don't know why he would be recommending shots when he has no clue if you have allergies or not. Unfortunately there are some doctors out there who push allergy shots because they they are pretty lucrative for the doctors. That said, If you do get tested & have allergies which can be treated with immunotherapy, it can be a huge help. I, like Judy have been taking the shots for several years & they have helped tremendously. I had a similar situation with 24/7 coughing & did find it mainly due to asthma triggered by allergies. You are right that shots are a lengthy & costly treatment, and if you feel that the doctor was pushing you in that direction before even being sure that's your problem, then I would recommend that you find a different allergist to do the testing. If he has a one track mind about giving you the shots, he just might find that you are allergic to everything. If an allergist that you are comfortable with & trust recommends shots to you AFTER testing, then I would give them a try because they can have amazing results, and I'm an example!!! Definitely sounds like you need to get to the bottom of the problem though, I basically talk for a living and know only too well the impact that constant coughing has on the career!

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