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The Aberdeen Clinic
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Food Intolerance Testing

Allergy Clinic


Allergy Testing Aberdeen

  Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic Rhinitis is a common problem - significantly affecting everyday, work and school life. It is a risk factor for the development of asthma, and can be the presenting symptom of a severe systemic illness, eg sarcoidosis or Wegener's granulomatosis.

Allergic rhinitis may be categorised into: Seasonal allergic rhinitis/hay fever: this occurs at certain times of the year. When due to tree pollen or grass it is known as hay fever. Other allergens include mould spores and weeds. Perennial rhinitis (persistent): this occurs throughout the year. Allergens commonly include house dust mites and domestic pets.

Typical symptoms may include:
• Sneezing.
Rhinorrhoea and nasal congestion:
• Itchy nose and/or palate.
• Symptoms tend to be bilateral, and worse on waking.

A survey of adults found that about a third of allergic rhinitis sufferers found that symptoms affected their work, home life and social life.

In children, symptoms affected their schoolwork and caused sleep problems. Persistent blockage of intranasal passages occasionally results in rhinosinusitis. In adults, a strong association exists between nasal polyps, asthma and sensitivity to aspirin - Samter's triad.

History and examination should be sufficient to make the diagnosis, but additional allergy testing may be helpful when the causative allergen is not clear.

Skin prick test
Evidence from controlled trials shows the high sensitivity and specificity of skin tests. They are important if avoidance measures are to be considered.

A stepwise approach according to the severity of symptoms, based on the available randomised trials, has been adopted by 'Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma' (ARIA) The main lines of treatment are education, allergy avoidance, antihistamines and topical steroids.

Surgical treatment
When drugs fail and a structural abnormality exists, surgery may be indicated.

The preparations available in the UK are vaccines containing house dust mite, animal dander (cat or dog) or extracts of grass or tree pollen. In view of safety concerns, they are only indicated in patients who have failed to respond to anti-allergic drugs. They are recommended only for administration by specialists. Asthma is a relative contra-indication. Other contra-indications include pregnancy, children aged under 5 and patients taking betablockers (adrenaline may be ineffective in the event of an anaphylactic reaction and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (risk of severe anaphylaxis).

A sublingual form of pollen extract is available

This should also only be used if there is no response to anti-allergy treatment. It is licensed for adults and children over the age of 5. One tablet should be taken daily, starting at least four months before the start of the pollen season and continued for up to three years. Absolute contra-indications include malignancy, immune deficiency, inflammatory conditions of the oral cavity and patients with severe or uncontrolled asthma. It should not be initiated in pregnancy but may be continued in patients who become pregnant during treatment, after evaluation including lung function.

The Aberdeen Clinic offers a fully comprehensive allergy clinic in Aberdeen. From seasonal pollen allergy testing to food intolerence testing. If you think you have a nut allergy or intolerant to dairy produce call the Aberdeen Clinic for advice
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