It is approaching the time of year that many people dread, as whilst most of us can enjoy a summer barbeque, one in three will suffer the effects of being in contact with air borne grass and tree pollens and certain spores. ‘Hayfever’ or seasonal allergic rhinitis can make life miserable as summer months approach.

Typical symptoms of rhinitis may include:


• Sneezing.
• Runny nose and nasal congestion.
• Itchy nose, eyes and/or palate.
• Symptoms tend to be on both sides and are worse on waking.

These symptoms can affect work, home and social life. In children and adolescents, symptoms can affect their schoolwork and cause sleep problems which is particularly worrying around exam times.

Investigations

First, an electronic questionnaire is sent out, and depending on the responses, further tests are indicated:

Skin prick testing
A small drop of allergen is placed on your forearm and a lancet used to ‘scratch’ the skin, a weal will develop if an allergy exists. Evidence from controlled trials shows the high sensitivity and specificity of skin tests. Skin prick testing is an important mechanism for identifying allergens so that avoidance measures can be introduced.

Blood Tests
A range of blood tests are also available for adults where skin prick testing is inappropriate and children under 2 years old.

We operate a comprehensive allergy treatment program beginning with reviewing current medication and assessing use of nasal spays. If an allergy is severe and having a negative effect on your daily routine then we can discuss complex desensitisation.  We have also been using the intra-muscular steroid injection Kenalog for seasonal allergies which needs to be given when your hayfever starts to flare up. The injection may be used in patients aged 16 years and above on the advice of a doctor. Our GP will assess and prescribe this if appropriate to do so.

Call 0333 0143488 or emailallergy@theaberdeenclinic.co.uk for more information.

Image: © Syda Productions, adobe.stock.com

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