Every year Britons spend millions of pounds on hay fever remedies purchased from pharmacies. The charity Allergy UK estimates that the number of people in the UK suffering from allergies is increasing by 5% each year, with one in four people affected at some stage in their lives.
Allergies affect one in four people at some stage in their lives
Allergies are ‘over reactions’ to substances that your body’s immune system considers to be harmful. The substance causing the reaction is known as an allergen.
Common allergens such as pollen, dust mite, pets and foods such as milk or eggs can cause debilitating symptoms; from wheezing, runny noses, itchy eyes and ears through to more serious conditions such as asthma, eczema, lethargy and frequent headaches.
Pinpointing the exact cause of these symptoms and then removing the allergens from the patient’s environment or diet can result in dramatic improvements in quality of life. Spire Hartswood Hospital provides both a diagnostic service to accurately identify allergies or intolerances in the sufferer, and necessary advice in dealing with the particular allergies diagnosed.
It is vital to understand the differences between an allergy and intolerance. An allergy is in your immune system which reacts to an allergen, with the most common including house dust mites, pollen, peanuts and shellfish. An intolerance is always caused by food or drink, and the reaction doesn’t involve the immune system so is usually less serious than an allergic reaction.
Spire Hartswood Hospital offers two different forms of testing, depending on your symptoms and needs. Firstly, you will begin with a telephone discussion with our Allergy Clinic Nurse, Tricia Wilson. Here you will be able to discuss your symptoms and Tricia will link these to any likely possibilities, to decide which test is best for you.
You will need a doctor's referral from your GP or consultant. Following your tests, a letter explaining the results can be sent to your referring consultant or GP.
Following your allergy test you may wish to seek further advice from a specialist consultant, which can be arranged at Spire Hartswood Hospital by calling 01277 266 761.