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Allergy Testing in London
An allergy test is an exam performed by a qualified allergy specialised to determine whether you’re allergic to a specific substance. An allergy test can be performed on blood or skin samples.
You can be allergic to things in the environment, like pollen, mould and pet dander. Other people might have allergic reactions to bee stings or latex, or even foods like milk, soy and peanuts.
What is an Allergy?
Allergies are hypersensitive responses from your immune system to substances that come into contact with or enter the body.
The substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens. Common irritants include pollen, bee venom and pet dander. But anything can be an allergen if it causes an allergic reaction in the immune system. The allergens are usually found in food, drinks or the environment.
Types of Allergies
The severity of an allergy varies from mild to extremely severe. Some allergic reactions can be life-threatening, while others are just mildly irritating. There are different types of allergies:
- Seasonal allergies – These are allergic reactions that occur at certain times of the year. These allergies are common when trees bloom. You might experience such allergies during tree and grass pollen season. Seasonal allergies are common if your allergies are triggered by environmental factors like pollen.
- Drugs and medication – These are more common allergies, but they vary in degree. One person might develop a rash or swelling, while another might experience difficulty in breathing. The drugs that cause the most reactions are antibiotics like penicillin, chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy and anticonvulsants. The risk of the allergy increases when you take the medication frequently.
- Food – Most food allergies develop in childhood. But they can also develop as an adult. The foods responsible for most food allergies are fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts. These are not the same as food intolerances. In food allergies, the immune system overacts to a protein in the food. The allergic symptoms often appear immediately after ingesting the food. Some allergic food reactions can be life-threatening; therefore, people with food allergies must be careful and avoid the food they are allergic to.
- Latex – Latex is found in rubber gloves, balloons, toys and rubber bands, among other products. It’s a substance produced by rubber trees and blended with chemicals during manufacturing to give it elasticity. Nearly 50 per cent of people with latex allergy also suffer from another allergy, usually fruits and vegetables like bananas, avocado and tomatoes.
- Mould – There are hundreds of mould types. Not all of them cause allergic reactions, but some do. They flourish in damp environments and can be found in houses and other buildings. Mould allergies have been linked to worsening asthma. Constant exposure to them can restrict airways causing difficulty in breaking.
- Pet dander – Allergies to pets are pretty common, especially cat allergies. The saliva, urine and dander from the pets is the trigger. Dander is the tiny flakes of skin that pets shed. Common pet dander allergic symptoms include wheezing, runny nose, sneezing, and difficulty breathing, and it can trigger asthma symptoms.
- Venom – This mostly applies to stinging insects. Most people develop swelling, itching and redness when they’re stung by an insect. But a person allergic to venom experiences more severe symptoms because their immune system overreacts to the venom.
The types of allergies can also be broken down by the symptoms of the allergy. These can include
- Asthmatic, which can lead to difficulty breathing
- Anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis
- Urticarial and angioedema – hives
- Oral allergy syndrome or pollen food allergy
- Celiac disease
- Inflammation of the lungs or extrinsic allergic alveolitis.
Common Symptoms of Allergies
Allergy symptoms can vary depending on the type of allergy and how it presents. The most commonly reported allergy symptoms include;
- Runny nose
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Itchy eyes, lips, ears, throat or mouth
- Hives or rashes
Benefits of Private Allergy Testing
The first step to addressing an allergy is getting tested. NHS facilities offer the tests, but getting results can take a long time. The alternative is a private allergy clinic in London where you can get different tests to identify the allergen, including food allergy testing in London. Opting for private allergy testing in Londonoffers numerous benefits;
- Fast and accurate results
- Better Experience
- Shorter booking periods
- Professional staff and modern equipment and technology
Going for private allergy testing in London has its benefits. For starters, you get a more attentive staff that is more responsive to your needs during the testing. The equipment used in the private clinic is more advanced and provides more accurate results.
Allergy Test FAQs
Q: How do I get allergy testing in London?
You can get an allergy test at a private clinic if you suspect any allergic reactions. You can get the test without any doctor’s recommendation by booking an appointment at a private clinic.
Q: Are allergy tests worth the money?
Allergy tests are worth the money you pay. Allergy testing in london can help you determine what you’re allergic to and advise you on the best way forward. For people that require medical attention during the reaction, it can save you medical expenses and unnecessary discomfort.
Q: What are the 3 signs of an allergy?
The signs of an allergy vary depending on the type of allergy and the allergen. A runny nose, sneezing, pain and tenderness around your cheeks, eyes and forehead, swollen eyes, coughing and wheezing are all commonly reported signs of an allergy.
Q: Is skin or blood test better for allergies?
Each test addresses specific conditions. For some people, a blood test may be more suitable than a skin test and vice versa. Also, your doctor may order both types of tests depending on the severity and the type of allergy. As a side note, blood tests take a few days, while skin tests deliver immediate results. If you have a skin condition like rash or hives and you’re taking antihistamines, allergy skin tests won’t deliver reliable results.
Q: Are allergy tests 100% accurate?
Allergy tests are not 100% accurate, but it is reasonably accurate. A positive result just shows that your body has made allergic antibodies to a specific food. The negative results are about 95% accurate.