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Struggling with allergies? Our allergy medicine specialists can help diagnose allergens and provide you with tailored treatment options. Book online today.
Allergic diseases affect more than a quarter of the population and the symptoms range from mild and irritating to severe and life-threatening. The allergist's role is to identify or exclude allergy, and provide management including symptom-suppressing drug treatments, allergen avoidance, immunotherapy and self-management plans for acute severe reactions.
Management includes avoidance advice, the training in self-use of rescue medication in case of anaphylaxis due to inadvertent allergen exposure, and the use of safe long term medications to control chronic conditions. If patients are educated in the self-care of chronic conditions such as asthma, rhinitis or eczema in most cases the condition will be effectively controlled.
In the case of food or drug allergy or anaphylaxis, it is reasonable to expect that avoidance will result in disease prevention. Patients may be trained in avoidance of triggers to prevent or reduce disease (anaphylaxis, asthma, eczema) the self-administration of drugs to deal with acute attacks, and the use of prophylactic treatment for predictable allergen exposure.
A major aim of the allergist is to avoid the development of chronic illness. Allergen immunotherapy treatment (desensitization) treatment may be considered in occasional cases. It is especially valuable when a single allergen is responsible for severe symptoms; anaphylaxis due to wasp venom allergy and severe hay fever due to grass pollen allergy are two examples. The treatment involves giving increasing tiny doses of the allergen which may be injection (subcutaneous immunotherapy), or drops placed under the tongue (oral immunotherapy).