Services › Allergy Clinic
St. Andrews Allergy Clinic
At St. Andrews we provide the service of an Allergy Clinic. St. Andrews Allergy Clinic is backed and run by a Consultant Respiratory Physician specialised in Allergic Diseases. Though allergies are numerous in their nature and causes, at St. Andrews we deal with what is probably the most prevalent group of allergies, airway allergies, caused by inhaled allergens, which lead to hay-fever and allergic asthma, as well as allergic sinusitis and conjunctivitis.
For more information or to make an appointment with the Respiratory and Allergy Specialist, kindly contact us.
SKIN PRICK TESTS
The service of our Allergy Clinic revolves around the Skin Prick Test. This is a simple and safe procedure that can be done in the consultation room. Results are quick, on average taking about 30 minutes. The process involves two steps. The first part is a consultation with the Allergy Specialist. Depending on the outcome of that the Skin Prick Tests will be carried out. The test is a painless procedure involving introducing miniscule amounts of allergens into the skin, usually in the forearm of adults and on the back in children. The number and type of allergens tested for will be determined by the consultation. However, they will always be for airborne allergens, including a variety of pollen, mould, pet dander, and dust mites. The result will be interpreted by the Respiratory Specialist himself at the end of the same session and a management plan drawn up, be it discussing measures of allergen avoidance, treatment, or immunotherapy.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE. There are a number of common medications that can affect the result of the Skin Prick Tests. These include antihistamines and oral steroids. It is important that these be avoided a number of days before the test as they can invalidate the result. A full list of medicines to be avoided will appear by clicking here. In the event that these medicines have not been avoided, the test will not be performed. In this case a consultation fee will still be charged and the test itself postponed to a date when the patient will be better prepared. For a smooth running of the clinic therefore please let us know at point of booking what medications you are taking. If you have any doubts kindly discuss with your health care provider first, or email us and we will forward the details to the Allergy Specialist.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE RESULTS OF THE TESTS?
One of the major advantages of a successful Skin Prick Test is knowledge, about what is causing one’s symptoms and what one needs to avoid. Below is some practical advice on how the most common allergens can be avoided.
House Dust Mite:
Use roller blinds which can easily be wiped
Use products which aid in house dust mite elimination, for example allergy covers, allergy neutralising sprays and clothes washing additives. (You may speak to our pharmacist or specialist for more info on these products)
Use tested allergy proof covers on mattresses, duvets and pillowcases. (You may speak to our pharmacist or specialist for more info on these products)
Wipe surfaces with a damp, clean cloth. Avoid dry dusters
We understand that pets cannot be readily eliminated, however one may try:
Avoiding pets in bedrooms
Limit them to a part of the house which has no fitted carpets
Groom them outdoors
Increase ventilation through fans, air conditioning or open windows
Keep your home dry and well ventilated
Remove indoor pot plants
Do not store clothes in damp cupboards
Seasonal Allergy (Pollen):
Avoid drying clothes and bedding outside when the pollen count is high
Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes
Shower and change your clothes after being outside
Avoid grassy areas and parks particularly early in the morning or during the evening when the pollen count is highest.
Many allergies can be treated with a combination or oral or inhaled antihistamines or steroids. Treatment is tailor made for each client’s particular allergy, its severity and their circumstances. In some cases, immunotherapy may also be considered.
Class of Drug
Time required to withhold before skin prick testing
5 to 7 days
Antihistamine Nasal Sprays
Antihistamine Eye Drops
Antihistamines used for vomiting
Antihistamines used for motion sickness
Antihistamines used for insomnia
H2 Antagonists used as antacids
Needs to be discussed with physician
Avoid area to be tested
7 to 14 days
Needs to be discussed with physician
In collaboration with Allergy Therapeutics, St. Andrews Clinics are very happy to be able to offer Immunotherapy to their clients. Immunotherapy is the only form of long-term treatment that will result in symptom reduction and treatment for people suffering from allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, conjunctivitis or sinusitis. During immunotherapy the body is exposed to low concentrations of the allergen, in the form of sublingual drops, over a long period of time. The controlled exposure helps to develop an immunity or tolerance which may last even after the treatment is stopped. The duration of the treatment course will be decided and monitored closely by the Allergy Specialist.
Watch the video below for a more pictorial explanation of allergies and the rationale behind immunotherapy.