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+44 (0)207 935 4444
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Self-pay enquiry:
+44 (0)203 219 3315

Testing for allergies

The tests which your consultant will do with you are very low risk, and your questions will be answered in advance of any allergy test.

Our Allergy services team offer:

Prick testing

A prick test is a common test where a drop of liquid is place on the patient's forearm to help diagnose an allergy.

Patch testing

This test, involving the placement of a number of 'patches' on a patient's back is used to identify allergies which are not discovered via a prick test, or a blood test.

Common treatments include:

  • Eye drops: these usually contain sodium cromoglicate, an anti-allergic agent that acts locally to cut down inflammation in the eyes.
  • Nasal sprays: these often have a corticosteroid as their active ingredient. Corticosteroids reduce the inflammation that is caused when the cells in the nose respond to the allergen. Nasal sprays are particularly effective at treating congestion (a blocked nose). If you use a nasal spray and an antihistamine tablet you may not need eye drops.
  • Inhalers for allergic asthma: if your allergy either causes asthma symptoms or makes your underlying asthma worse, you will be encouraged to take a reliever inhaler containing a short-acting beta-2-agonist such as salbutamol or terbutaline when you experience wheezing or difficulty breathing. You may also be prescribed an inhaler to prevent symptoms in the longer term. These contain a corticosteroid that you inhale directly into the lungs.
  • Systemic allergy treatments: antihistamine tablets taken every day can reduce symptoms in the eyes, nose and upper respiratory tract. If your symptoms are severe you may be prescribed corticosteroid tablets, usually as a 5- or 10-day course, to provide some relief from your symptoms until your antihistamine therapy has a chance to start working.
  • Omalizumab (Xolair®) is used for persistent allergic asthma that is severe. This type of allergy treatment was recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence in 2007. It inhibits the action of one of the molecules produced in the body during an allergic response. At the moment it has to be given by injection and is only suitable for patients with chronic, severe and steroid-dependent asthma.

Seasonal allergies

If you have seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly called hay fever, your allergy is to grass pollen, and it is difficult to avoid exposure. Treating the symptoms can give considerable relief, but it needs to be done consistently and as soon as you first notice them.

Most patients with mild hay fever get relief from an antihistamine tablet and then supplement it with eye drops on days when their eyes are particularly itchy or with a topical steroid nasal spray if eye drops don’t provide relief.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

Make a Self-Pay enquiry

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