We are pleased to offer a full range of blood testing for individual allergens as well as allergy profiles for food and inhalants. These tests quantify the severity of the allergy, providing you with important information about any relevant symptoms or risks to your health.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is a body’s hypersensitive response to a particular substance in its environment – often, the substance triggering the allergic reaction is one that most people find harmless, such as dust, pet hair, pollen, or latex.
Are allergies dangerous?
Allergies usually range from mild to uncomfortable – but in some cases, the body’s inflammatory reaction can be dangerous. Certain extreme allergic reactions, in particular to foods and types of venom, can cause anaphylaxis. Allergies are also thought to contribute to asthma.
When the immune system reacts to an allergy, it produces antibodies to fight off the substance it is allergic to.
How are allergies diagnosed?
The first thing to do is discuss the frequency and intensity of your symptoms with a doctor. A skin prick test can be carried out, in which tiny amounts of various allergens are placed on the skin, and the body’s reactions are measured. Blood tests can reveal the presence of Immunoglobulin E, the antibody that activates white blood cells during an allergic reaction. In cases of eczema, a patch test uses prolonged exposure to certain allergens.
How are allergies treated?
The most effective allergy treatment is avoidance of the known allergen. Where this is not possible, steroids, antihistamines and decongestants may be prescribed. In the case of an anaphylactic reaction, an injection of epinephrine is administered.
It is recommended that you seek medical advice if you think you have an allergy, rather than to use a commercial allergy test, as they are less accurate than accredited methods.