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What is allergy and immunology?
The specialty of allergy and immunology focuses on understanding, treating and managing allergies, asthma and immunologic disorders.
Allergies are the most common chronic conditions worldwide affecting more than a quarter of a population with symptoms ranging from mild and irritating to severe and life-threatening.
Allergic symptoms are a result of a damaging immune response of the body to a harmless substance, usually a protein, to which it has become hypersensitive. The immune system wrongly identifies the substance (allergen) as harmful and overreacts to its presence by producing antibodies, which will release histamine and other chemicals, causing the allergic reaction.
The allergist/ immunologist is a physician specialised in the diagnose, treatment and management of allergies and clinical immunology, with training in:
- Allergy testing
- History-allergy test correlation
- Asthma care
- Inhalant immunotherapy
- Immunomodulation therapy
- Venom immunotherapy
- Food and drug challenges
- Drug desensitisation
When you should see an allergist or immunologist?
Some allergies are mild and manageable therefore you don’t need to see a specialist. But if the allergy or asthma symptoms are getting out of control or are affecting your quality of life then an allergist can help you manage or treat them. The specialist can also teach patients how to avoid triggers to prevent an attack or self-administration of medicine in case of exposure.
One of the main goals of the allergist is to avoid the development of chronic illness.
You should see an allergist if:
- Your asthma or allergy symptoms are interfering with day-to-day activities
- Over the counter medication doesn’t control your allergy symptoms or causes uncomfortable side effects
- You have previously been diagnosed with asthma, and you have frequent asthma attacks even though you are taking asthma medication
- You experience allergy symptoms several months out of the year
Our allergy consultants specialise in a range of allergic diseases such as:
- Allergic rhinitis and hay fever
- Allergic conjunctivitis
- Rhinosinusitis and nasal polyps
- Urticaria and angioedema
- Food allergy
- Oral allergy syndromes
- Allergic gastrointestinal disease
- Food intolerance
- Drug allergy
- Latex allergy
- Venom allergy
- Occupational allergy
Common treatments and tests
Good allergy care requires accurate allergy diagnosis to identify allergens and enable their exclusion. The most important tool for the allergist is the detailed allergy-focused history. Allergy skin-prick and/or specific IgE blood tests are frequently required.
One of the ways to treat common allergies such as rhinitis, allergies caused by stinging insects, hay fever, animal allergies, is through immunotherapy, or desensitisation treatment. This treatment aims to re-programme the immune system to prevent allergy symptoms rather than suppress them like allergy medicine .
Our consultants can offer:
How can BMI Healthcare help?
Our consultant allergists can help diagnose, treat or manage your allergies in order to help improve quality of life. We offer fast, direct and convenient appointments where the consultant can decide the best route for you and develop a tailor made treatment package.