There are many different causes of allergy and the symptoms can range from mild to life threatening. Allergy can also be one of the major components with patients that suffer with asthma.
Fortunately, we can offer our patients effective management and treatment for most allergies which can help enormously with their quality of life.
Allergies are a person’s immune system reacting to certain substances in the home and environment. We call these different substances Allergens. They can be found inside our homes or in the wider environment. Allergens are found in house dust mites, pets, moulds, pollen, some foods and also some medicines.
A substance that is an allergen for one person may not be for another person. Everyone’s immune response is individual.
Allergies affect different areas of the body depending on where the allergen has entered and the symptoms will vary. And sometimes more than one area of the body is affected at the same time.
If you react to pollens or house dust mite, you breathe those in through the nose and mouth. This can cause a reaction in your nose, eyes, throat and sinus. We call this allergic rhinitis.
If you have an allergy to certain foods your stomach or bowel can be affected or you may experience hives. In severe food allergy you may have an anaphylactic reaction which is potentially life threatening.
Although not all cases of asthma are caused by allergy, they can often play a part and can make symptoms worse.
The good news is that most allergies are mild to moderate although they can be incredibly uncomfortable for some.
Our approach to diagnoses and management is multi faceted. Firstly a thorough history is taken.
Blood tests and skin prick tests are done to help us determine what is happening with the patient. We can then move on to treatment and management which can be controlling the environment and avoiding the allergen. Sometimes a course of temporary medication is required.
We also offer desensitisation or specific immunotherapy. This is a long term treatment to help change the immune system’s response to an allergen. We use sublingual drops under the tongue which contain gradually increasing amounts of allergen extracts. A diet of elimination is often required as well and we will guide you through this process.