(GETTY IMAGES)No one likes to get a shot, much less a series of them. But if you have asthma, allergy shots can be a lifesaver. These shots—also known as immunotherapy—are a bit like a vaccine. They contain small amounts of an allergen, and over time this controlled exposure to the allergen may help you develop a resistance to it.

Once your doctor figures out whats triggering your asthma symptoms, you receive a series of shots—starting weekly and then less often as time goes on—containing the allergen, which can help desensitize you to substances such as pet dander, dust, and pollen.

Allergy shots can be very effective in people with asthma—some children experience long-term relief after a few years of getting shots. But these shots arent for everyone. For instance, children under 2 years old and people in poor health should avoid them.

To learn more about allergy shots, read the following information from our A–Z Health Library.