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Old 10-27-2009, 08:10 AM
 
168 posts, read 232,415 times
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Default Cedar Fever: allergy shots effective?

I've lived in Austin for seven years and have a major allergy to mountain cedar. My allergies are so bad that the only thing that finally helps is a cortisone shot. Over the counter meds have absolutely no effect. Even Zyrtec. After suffering last winter, I started the allergy shots this summer and I'm finally at my "maintenance" level. I'm wondering what to expect in January. Has anyone who has had cedar fever problems completed the allergy shots? What was your experience?
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
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My dad has and he says it's the only thing that has helped. He doesn't live in this area though, he's in Tyler, but Cedar Fever is far reaching.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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My dad used the allergy shots for years. He actually did have better luck the second year of taking them, but they did help the first year, as well.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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I'm about to try them. But they are expensive. And my insurance (which is actually pretty good) will only cover them after my deductible is met, which is $1,000. The shots can range from $600 - $3000.
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,316 posts, read 20,082,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mm57553 View Post
I'm about to try them. But they are expensive. And my insurance (which is actually pretty good) will only cover them after my deductible is met, which is $1,000. The shots can range from $600 - $3000.
That cost sounds incredibly high, you might want to verify that with your insurance company if you have not already. Dr. Robert Cook's office charges $27 per shot, my insurance, Health Select, pays half of that, a discounted price they agreed to, and I don't have to pay anything for the shots.

I have been taking allergy shots for years now for cedar, juniper, mold & dust mites, and they have helped a lot. I still take the shots, 1 every 3 weeks. I have never gotten to the point where I thought I could completely stop.

Before starting the shots I used to get several bad sinus infections every year from being so congested, in spite of being heavily drugged on Tavist and a degongestant. Now I rarely get sinus infections, only had one in the last 7 years. Most days I don't need any medication and when I do its usually just Asteline and Rhinocort nasal sprays. I may take half a tavist and a Mucinex-D a couple of times a year.

I have been using a nasal/sinus saltwater rinse recommended by my Doctor that is extremely helpful. It is described in more detail here. Saline Irrigation (http://allergies.about.com/od/nosean...lsalineirr.htm - broken link)

The salt water mix my allergy doctor recommended is as follows, and I have been very comfortable with it:

3 tablespoons non-iodized salt (canning or pickling salt)
1 tablespoon baking soda
added to one quart of water.

Aside from just moisturizing and rinsing out sinus membranes, the salt water rinse uses osmosis to reduce the swelling/congestion in sinus the membranes.


A neti pot has also become quite popular for doing this same thing. It was even featured on Opra.

Thanks to the sinus rinse, usually once in the morning, and again in the evening only on my worst days, I rarely ever need to use nasal sprays or medication.

Dr. Cook's website has more information on the saline rinse here

http://www.centraltexasallergy.com/hyptncsolold.pdf

Additional helpful general information here
Central Texas Allergy & Asthma Center - Allergist, Austin, Texas - Patient Education

Last edited by CptnRn; 10-27-2009 at 09:56 AM..
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,316 posts, read 20,082,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiegirl26 View Post
I've lived in Austin for seven years and have a major allergy to mountain cedar. My allergies are so bad that the only thing that finally helps is a cortisone shot. Over the counter meds have absolutely no effect. Even Zyrtec. After suffering last winter, I started the allergy shots this summer and I'm finally at my "maintenance" level. I'm wondering what to expect in January. Has anyone who has had cedar fever problems completed the allergy shots? What was your experience?
What to expect in January? It varies from season to season how high the pollen counts will be. Your experience may vary, what I still experience is slightly itchy eyes, and some congestion and sinus drainage. But I can usually control it with sinus irrigation and nasal sprays. Occasionally I will take half a tavist and decongestant like Mucinex-D.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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I've been giving myself 2 allergy shots a week for almost 2 years now. I've yet to have a day that Zyrtec can't control. Ragweed and cedar are my 2 worst of my 27 allergies.

Also, during cedar season avoid red meat and yeast (bread, beer, etc.). Those foods make your cedar symptoms significantly worse.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:07 PM
 
168 posts, read 232,415 times
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Yes, mm57553, that does sound really high! I had to pay my regular "specialist" copay the first three times because I was having the skin test & other exams. All of my shots have been "free". And later I found out that those first three exams were actually covered so I'm trying to get my refund from the allergy clinic.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:29 PM
 
2,221 posts, read 5,669,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mm57553 View Post
I'm about to try them. But they are expensive. And my insurance (which is actually pretty good) will only cover them after my deductible is met, which is $1,000. The shots can range from $600 - $3000.
That's crazy. The serum costs about $500 to mix up according to my most recent receipt. I think I pay $20 as my copay. Those vials last 4 months. I give my shots to myself. To have the doctor do it, it's $25 each time. Maybe they're including that weekly cost in the price?
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:53 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 3,009,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achtungpv View Post
That's crazy. The serum costs about $500 to mix up according to my most recent receipt. I think I pay $20 as my copay. Those vials last 4 months. I give my shots to myself. To have the doctor do it, it's $25 each time. Maybe they're including that weekly cost in the price?
Don't know. I had the skin test done yesterday. My doctor won't let me do the shots - they do them there. But they don't charge for an office visit or anything when I go for the shots. The skin testing and doctor's visits were covered, but when I called the insurance co yesterday (Blue Cross Blue Shield), they told me they would only pay for the shots after I meet the $1,000 deductable. I got the dollar amount from the info my doctor's office gave me. Maybe the cost varies depending on the types of syrums or allergies you have. Don't know, just putting that out there.
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