Allergic conditions we treat
Allergic Rhinitis / Hayfever
Airborne allergens can irritate your eyes, nose and throat to the point where it can be intolerable. If the offending allergens are pollens, then the resulting allergic rhinitis is commonly referred to as hayfever. Symptoms can also be triggered by animal danders (secretions shed via skin cells or fur), dustmites (gut secretion shed via the mites' faeces) and mould spores. Treatment can involve avoidance, symptomatic medication or immunotherapy…or a combination of all three. The LAC Consultants are experts at identifying which allergen(s) are causing problems and designing treatments that fit your needs. While awaiting your appointment, watch this video on allergen avoidance.
Allergic Asthma & Wheeze
In the same way that allergens can cause rhinitis in the upper airways, the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs (the lower airways), can also be affected, giving rise to allergic asthma. Asthma can run in families, especially when there's also a history of allergies.
When a person with allergic asthma comes into contact with a trigger, it causes the muscles around the walls of the lower airways to tighten and narrow. As with rhinitis, the lining of the lower airways can become inflamed with a sticky mucus or phlegm causing the airways to narrow even more.
These reactions make it increasingly difficult to breathe properly, leading to symptoms such as chest tightness, wheezing or coughing. At the LAC our specialists can identify the triggers, assess the impact on your upper and lower airway, and provide appropriate treatment regimens.
Insect Sting Allergy
Being stung by a wasp, bee or mosquito commonly causes swelling at the site of the sting, known as a local reaction. In some cases, it can be a relatively large reaction, which although unpleasant, remains local and can be treated with antihistamine tablets or steroid-based creams.
In rare cases an allergy to the sting can lead to generalised reactions elsewhere in the body, such as hives. Severe, life threatening reactions can also develop causing asthma-like symptoms, swelling of soft tissue and shock. This is referred to as anaphylaxis.
If you have experienced such an allergic reaction to an insect sting, you should always be referred to an allergy specialist for evaluation. The consultants at the LAC are experts in assessing the risk of anaphylaxis to insect stings and can provide both short term protection (adrenaline pens) and advise on long term solutions (immunotherapy) where appropriate.
Drug and Latex Allergy
You may have experienced some form of allergic reaction in the past, like a rash, which may have been related to a natural rubber based product (surgical gloves) or to medications such as antibiotics, analgesics (e.g. aspirin/Ibuprofen) or anaesthetics.
If you now want to know for sure - or you are preparing for a medical/dental procedure and your surgeon wants to exclude any potential allergies to a local or general anaesthetic, then our Consultants at the LAC can organise the necessary tests to confirm or exclude an allergy. If confirmed, our experts can also help identify safe alternatives.
Urticaria – also known as hives, weals, welts or nettle rash – is a raised, itchy rash that appears on the skin. It may appear on one part of the body or be spread across large areas.
Urticaria occurs when a trigger causes high levels of histamine and other chemical messengers to be released in the skin. These substances cause the blood vessels in the affected area of skin to open up, often resulting in redness or pinkness.
Angioedema occurs when weals are large, often affecting lips or eyelids, even the mouth, but can occur anywhere.
Triggers can include:
an allergic reaction – such as a food allergy or a reaction to an insect bite or sting
cold or heat exposure
infection – such as a cold
certain medications – such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics and ACE inhibitors.
Autoimmunity (chronic urticaria/ angioedema)
Our experts at the LAC can determine the nature of your urticaria or angioedema and recommend treatment accordingly.
Atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked, sore and red. It can affect any part of the body, although is most often seen affecting the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children. "Atopic" means sensitivity to allergens, so those with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe (flare-ups), which may be related to allergen/trigger exposure.
The common triggers are soaps, detergents, stress and the weather although food allergies can play a part, especially in young children with severe eczema. Eczema can run in families, and often develops alongside other conditions such as asthma and hay fever.
Besides atopic eczema, eczema can also be due to allergens in contact with the skin (contact allergic eczema) including contact allergy to ingredients of cosmetics / toiletries.
Our experts at the LAC will help identify any triggers and devise a treatment plan to relieve symptoms and reduce exposure to the triggers.
Food allergies can affect different areas of the body at the same time. Some common symptoms include an itchy sensation inside the mouth, throat or ears. One may also experience a raised itchy red rash (urticaria, or "hives") as well as swelling of the face, around the eyes, lips, tongue and roof of the mouth (angioedema). In some case, vomiting will occur. In the most serious cases, reactions can be life threatening (anaphylaxis).
Almost any food can cause an allergic reaction, but in children, the most commonly triggers are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.
In adults, the most common foods are peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds and hazelnuts) fruits (apples and peaches), fish and shellfish.
Our Consultants at the LAC are experts in identifying which foods are triggering your reactions, and even which part or component of that food might be the main cause.