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Medical professional using stethoscope on woman's back


An allergy can simply be a runny nose but it can also cause serious reactions leading to severe difficulty in breathing.  Understanding how your body reacts to the environment is a key to your health and quality of life.

What is an Allergy?

This is your immune system overreacting to substances causing a hypersensitivity reaction.  It can be reacting to a particular food, dust mites, mould spores, medication and pollens.

What are the symptoms of Allergy?

These can be very minor to life threatening anaphylaxis. It can affect the breathing system by causing wheeze, breathlessness, cough and chest tightness.

Woman with asthma problems

How can Allergies be diagnosed?

The doctor will take a careful  history and understand the relationship between your exposure to various substances and your symptoms.  Blood tests can be very useful and can give information about a wide range of potential allergens. Skin prick tests are sometimes used.

How are Allergies treated?

Where possible, avoidance or reducing your exposure is the best option and your doctor can give you helpful advice.  Some patients require antihistamines or specific treatment, for example an asthma inhaler. Patients at high risk will be issued with a Epipen for emergency use.


The New Victoria Hospital
184 Coombe Lane West
Kingston Upon Thames
Surrey KT2 7EG