Questions about: Allergy testing
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Allergies are your body's adverse reaction to substances in the environment around you, or foods that you eat. They can lead to conditions like hay fever, asthma and eczema. A simple blood test should identify any allergic reactions.

Why you might need it

If you have a sneezing fit, get runny eyes or notice that part of your body is swelling; it could be an allergic reaction to something. If this is happening on a regular basis and you’re worried that something isn’t right it’s a good idea to be tested – even if it’s just to put your mind at rest. If the test shows an underlying health problem, we can help you treat it so you can get back to living life to the fullest.

At Spire we offer:

  • food allergy tests – including milk, wheat, nut, gluten and egg
  • pet allergy tests – including cats
  • asthma testing – including lung function and inhaled allergen testing
  • skin allergy tests – for dermatitis and eczema
  • hay fever tests – including tree and grass pollen.

During an initial appointment with a Spire consultant or healthcare professional, you will discuss your medical history and any symptoms you've been experiencing. They might recommend additional testing to help diagnosis.

If you decide to have your test with us, you’ll be cared for by an experienced multi-disciplinary team who understand what you’re feeling and are dedicated to your wellbeing. Your tests will take place in one of our modern, well-equipped hospitals. All patients, either insured or paying for themselves, can gain rapid access to some of the latest generation testing and medical treatments. We can organise additional care should you need further treatment afterwards.

We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.

At Spire Cardiff Hospital we understand that any type of allergy can affect your quality of life. Therefore, we have developed an allergy desensitisation service to allow our patients access to a leading specialist in allergy, Dr Tariq El-Shanawany, who is able to offer a quick diagnosis and treatment plan, ensuring that you can receive the best treatment option for your individual needs.

There are a number of different treatments for allergies, but most treat the symptoms rather than the underlying cause. Desensitisation immunotherapy is a treatment which offers the possibility of curing your allergy.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

* Loan applicable to the treatment cost and excludes the initial consultation.

Spire Cardiff Hospital can provide you with a single, fixed price1 so there are no surprises. 1Please read Spire Healthcare's terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price when paying for yourself. Finance options are available through our partner Omni Capital Retail Finance Ltd, 10 Norwich Street, London, EC4A 1BD.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-speciality surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.


Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

The procedure will take the form of a simple blood test or pinprick test. You may feel a prick when the needle goes in but it shouldn’t cause much discomfort and should only take a few minutes.

The blood will be sent away to our laboratories for analysis and you should get the results within a week. Your consultant will arrange a follow-up appointment to discuss them with you.

You might also be given a patch test to test your skin's reaction to specific chemicals such as nickel. A small amount of the chemical is placed on a pad and taped to your skin. After 48 hours it's removed to see how your skin reacted.

To diagnose food allergies, we perform food challenges. During this type of test you are gradually given food in greater amounts that you suspect you're allergic to, testing your reactions.

The treatment involves carefully controlled repeated exposure to the allergen which can switch off the allergic immune response. Currently, this is available for aeroallergens (such as house dust mite, grass pollens, tree pollens, cat, dog and horse) and bee and wasp venom.

Desensitisation immunotherapy can be administered either by injections into the arm (subcutaneous) or by dissolvable tablets or drops placed under the tongue (sublingual). Both options are available for aeroallergens but bee and wasp venom desensitisation is only available by injection.

For injection immunotherapy, every injection has to be administered in hospital and the patient has to remain for an hour post-injection to ensure there is not an adverse reaction.


The results may be processed within 24 hours and sent to your GP. If you have not heard from your doctor within two weeks please contact them.

Benefit from treatment can begin within months. Maximum clinical benefit is obtained by three years of treatment with aeroallergen immunotherapy, and by five years of treatment with venom immunotherapy. Continuing treatment beyond this does not lead to any additional benefit and therefore these treatments are stopped after three years and five years respectively. Immunotherapy has the added benefit of reducing the risk of developing other allergies later in life, preventing a process known as the ‘allergic march’.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

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Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.