An allergic reaction can be anything from itchy eyes to skin rashes, breathing difficulties, abdominal pain and the feeling of sickness. An allergy can be a debilitating condition and can cause considerable distress with everyday activities and can even disturb the quality of our sleep.
How common are allergies?
Allergies are very common. Around 25% of us will suffer with allergies at some point in our lives. Allergies can also be common in children and sometimes. It can run in families who have a history of asthma, eczema or hayfever. Thankfully most allergic reactions are not life threatening however an allergic reaction to certain foods or inhalants can be dangerous.
What are the common allergens?
The commonest allergens are to tree and grass pollen house dust mite animals such as cat and dogs foods such as nuts and eggs and certain medicines.
Blood testing for allergies
The doctor will ask you a series of questions to help identify the potential allergen. Blood testing can help identify the likely cause by measuring the immune response to specifically tested allergens and see which of them the patient is specifically sensitive to.
For more information book a consultation today to discuss all treatment options and to identify the best solution for you to achieve optimum results
Can an allergic reaction be dangerous?
Sometimes the allergy can be quite severe causing an anaphylactic reaction where extreme swelling or breathing difficulties can cause you to collapse. In this case you should dial 999 for an ambulance straight away.
Is a food allergy the same as food intolerance?
No, having a food allergy means your body is producing an immune response to a specific food, these symptoms will come on pretty quickly. In food intolerance there is often difficulty digesting certain foods leading to symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloatedness, and stomach cramps which will come about after a few hours. An example of certain food intolerance’s are lactose intolerance (intolerance to lactose found in milk) and coeliac disease (intolerance to gluten, found in wheat).
Is blood testing for allergy testing safe?
Yes, there is no exposure made to the allergen, unlike skin prick or patch testing which means you are able to continue taking antihistamines at the time of the test to help keep your symptoms under control. Blood testing can be extremely helpful when all else has failed.