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Taking Charge of your Allergies at Nuffield Health Warwickshire Hospital

Getting tested for an allergy gives you valuable information about something that may have been affecting you for quite a while.

Allergy can affect people in many different ways and can be described as a multi-organ condition. Rhinitis (runny nose), itchy eyes, asthma, skin rashes, eczema, abdominal upset and many other symptoms can result. These symptoms are caused when substances such as pollens, moulds, dust mites, or foods, which are perfectly harmless for the majority of people, trigger an immune reaction in the allergic person causing uncomfortable, and in some cases, life threatening reactions.

If you think you are suffering from an allergy, the first step is to identify the substances causing the symptoms (known as allergens). You can do this by visiting our allergy clinic at Nuffield Health Warwickshire Hospital, which is run by an expert Consultant who specialises in allergy and a specially trained nurse. For the majority of people, once the cause of the reaction is identified, with help and advice, they are able to manage the condition using a mixture of medication, management and avoidance techniques.

What happens before I have an allergy test?

On making an appointment to attend an allergy clinic you will be asked some basic questions about your allergy and about any medication you are taking. It may be necessary to stop taking anti-histamines for five days before attending the clinic, but this will be explained to you at the time of booking.

What will happen when I attend the allergy clinic?

Your appointment will start with a short consultation with the Consultant Respiratory Physician specialising in allergies who will take your full clinical history. You will be asked a range of questions about your symptoms, general health, diet, home and work environments. All of these are important factors when assessing the type of allergen that could be triggering your reactions and in deciding the appropriate test or clinical route that is right for you.

Why should I have an allergy test?

An allergy test is used to confirm the diagnosis made from your clinical history and it can also give an indication of the level of reaction that is happening. It allows the Consultant to provide you with the best possible advice for your individual situation.

What sort of test will I have?

Once your clinical history has been taken your consultant will discuss with you whether a skin prick test or a blood test is the most appropriate test for you.

What happens during the allergy test?

The type of test to be carried out will depend on a number of factors including symptoms and the condition of your skin.

Skin prick test

This is the most common allergy test. From the clinical history the Consultant will have a clear indication of the allergen/s that are the possible triggers and a small drop of the allergen solution will be placed on the skin of the forearm. The skin is then slightly scratched, this does not draw blood. If a red mark appears, this is measured and appropriate advice is given on avoidance and management of the allergy identified.

Blood test

For some patients  blood testing is more appropriate, for example, if you have a history of severe allergic reactions or if you suffer with extensive eczema. A sample of blood is taken and sent to our on-site laboratory for analysis. The purpose of this is to confirm the diagnosis reached during your consultation and you will be advised of the result within a few days.

What happens after I have the allergy test?

Most allergies can be dealt with through management, medication and avoidance. You will be given appropriate advice and information. 

How do I book an appointment at Nuffield Health Warwickshire Hospital?

You can make an appointment to see one of our allergy experts by calling 01926 436 351.