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Allergy

Allergies refer to the hypersensitive immune reactions that occur in response to certain substances when they come in contact with the body. The substances which are responsible for allergic reactions are called allergens. Common allergens include food, medicines, insect stings, pollen, dust mites, pet dander and house hold chemicals.

Signs and symptoms of allergy

 

The symptoms associated with allergy may vary based on the type of allergen. Signs and symptoms of allergy include:

  1. Itchy eyes
  2. Blocked nose
  3. Itchy skin
  4. Rashes
  5. Tongue swelling
  6. Swelling in throat and face

Mild allergic reactions are often inevident. Moderate reactions may make you feel little sick- like when you have cold or flu. A severe allergic reaction is referred to as anaphylaxis and they have extreme symptoms such as:

  1. Severe itching
  2. Wheezing and shortness of breath
  3. Tightness in throat
  4. Tingling of hands, legs or scalp

Diagnosis of Allergy

Your doctor will first take a detailed medical history. He will also ask about your work, home and eating habits to find out the cause of allergy. You will be recommended a blood test, skin prick test and patch test to find out the source of allergy.

  1. Blood test: When the body is exposed to an allergen, the body starts producing antibodies. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is an antibody which is strongly associated with the body’s allergy response. Blood tests are conducted to find out the levels of Immunoglobulin E (IG-E) levels in the body. If the levels of IG-E are elevated in the body, then the person is likely to have an allergy. If the patient has elevated IgE levels, then specific tests would be performed to detect the specific allergen.

Other allergy related blood tests are:

  1. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA): This test measures the amount of allergen specific antibodies in your blood.
  2. Radio allergo sorbent test (RAST): This test detects the specific allergen-related antibodies to find the allergens causing the symptoms

 

  1. Skin prick test: It is also called as puncture testing. This test is done to find out the presence of any allergic reactions. In this test, a small quantity of allergen is placed on a specific point on the forearm or back. The outer layer of the skin is scratched to let the allergen seep in and symptoms of allergic reaction are observed. If any redness or inflammation appears n the skin, then that person is having allergy.

  1. Patch test: This test is done for the patients suffering from dermatitis or eczema. In this procedure, special metal discs with suspected allergens are taped on to the back. The doctor checks for the allergic reactions 48 hours later.

Management of Allergies

Natural ways to reduce the symptoms of allergy:

  1. Dietary changes: Hot and spicy foods such as ginger, cayenne pepper and fenugreek help in relieving nasal congestion.
  2. Nasal Rinses: It helps in clearing the mucus from the nose and ease congestion.
  3. Increased fluid intake: Drink lots of water, juices and non-alcoholic drinks. Fluids make the mucus thin and thereby provides relief. Drinking hot tea and soup can also soothe congestion.
  4. Avoid smoking: Smoking can worsen runny, itchy nose and watery eyes. Choose smoke-free restaurants, night clubs etc. Try to avoid fumes as they can worsen the symptoms of allergy.
  5. Foods to be avoided: Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, chocolate, banana, artificial sweeteners, cucumber, bottled citrus juice and soy must be avoided when you have an allergic reaction.

Medical treatment for allergy: Drugs cannot cure allergy, however few drugs relieve the symptoms of allergy. Most of the medicines used in the treatment of allergy are available as over-the-counter drugs.

  • Antihistamines: Antihistamines are prescribed to block the action of a chemical called histamine, which is released into the body in response to an allergic reaction.
  • Decongestants: Decongestants are prescribed to relieve nasal congestion which may occur due to pet or dust allergy.
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonist: Anti-leukotrienes are prescribed in patients suffering from allergies, when other treatments do not work. They act by blocking the chemicals which are responsible for constriction of the airways.
  • Steroid sprays: They are applied in the inner lining of the nose. They help in reducing nasal congestion by reducing the inflammation within the nasal passages.

Prevention of allergy

  1. Stay away from dust: Even when the weather is good, pollen count may be high in the outside air. Close your doors and windows to protect your indoor air from dust and pollen. If possible install HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air filters) in your room, which traps these particles.
  2. Freshen up regularly after coming from outside: Whenever you enter your house, you unknowingly bring the potential allergens into your house. So, whenever you enter home, make sure you take a shower, change your clothes and leave your foot wear outside.
  3. Wear a mask: Try to wear a mask when moving in a crowd or going outside. Use N95 respiratory mask, which traps 95% of the particles like pollen and allergens.
  4. Regular change of bedding: Use fresh bed sheets and clothes to avoid the contact with allergens.Use dust-proof mattress covers and pillow-case covers to prevent dust allergies.

Why choose Apollo Diagnostics?

Apollo Diagnostics uses the world’s most advanced, FDA-approved In-Vitro Allergy Testing platform, Phadia. Allergy tests are characterized by the presence of specific IgE antibody. IgE antibody development can be detected at an early stage, indicating sensitization, even before clinical symptoms have developed. A single sample is sufficient for screening to know whether you are allergic or not. If the results are positive , same sample can be used to  do the customized Allergy Panels and individual allergens like Food Panel, Dust Panel, Grass Panel, Drug Panel, Pediatric & Adult Allergy Panels ( As per the physician recommendation / your lifestyle ).

We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.

 For appointments, please call 4444 2424.

 References

  1. 12 ways to defeat allergy. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/allergy-education-17/slideshow-natural-relief. Accessed on 27-09-2017
  2. Allergies. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Allergies/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Accessed on 27-09-2017
  3. Allergies: causes, diagnosis and treatment. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264419.php. Accessed on 27-09-2017

Patient Testimonials

“Finding the best place for a diagnostic test is as important as consulting the best doctor. The Apollo name was what guided me to Apollo Diagnostics and I am indeed glad that I came here. From attending us on time to sample collection, everything flowed so smoothly. I was particularly impressed by the hygiene. It was definitely a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the good work!”

Mrs. Ferha Jabeen, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I Have heard a lot of good things about Apollo Diagnostics from our family physician as well as from relatives and friends. So then next time I needed a diagnostic centre, I visited Apollo Diagnostics and I was really glad I did. For one, I didn’t have to wait. The technician was extremely good, and the place was really clean. It was certainly a value for money experience. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Ms. T. Jaya, Nakkalagutta, Hanmakonda

“I must say Apollo Diagnostics places a great value on time and patient comfort! I am a fan of their home collection service which is not only on time and technically sound, but the hygiene and cordiality of the visiting technician is also commendable. Hats off! I’ll continue to recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Mr. B. Pochaiah, Mallikarjuna Nagar Colony, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I have always had a great experience with Apollo Diagnostics. The calls are unfailingly answered. The scheduled appointment is kept to the minute. The phlebotomist is well-trained in both technique and putting the patient at ease. Apollo Diagnostics undoubtedly delivers value for money. They will always be my top option for all the diagnostic needs of my family.”

Mr. Prasanta Kumar Jena, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“I came to know about Apollo Diagnostics from my relatives and friends. So, when I required a check up to be done, I thought about trying their service once. From sticking to the appointed time to accuracy of technique, it was really a great experience overall. Hygiene of the technician and the centre as well, was also quite admirable. I certainly felt it delivers value for money service. From now on, I’ll always visit Apollo Diagnostics for all my checkups.”

Mr. Venkateshwar Rao, Hanmakonda

“I was looking for a good diagnostic centre to get some checkups done. I was confused as there are so many of them all over the city. Some of my friends recommended Apollo Diagnostics as the best one. I’ll always remain thankful to them. The technician at Apollo Diagnostics was not only punctual but his competency was certainly praiseworthy. I never felt any discomfort as he was so confident and compassionate. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Mr. T Radhakishan Rao, Hanmakonda

“My experience with Apollo Diagnostics has been consistently good. Securing the appointment was very easy and the schedule was maintained to the dot. The behaviour of the technician was pleasant and he was well–versed with his job. The place was noticeably clean and I did not face any discomfort during the process. The reports were delivered as promised and surprisingly, the service was pretty affordable. I would recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my circle without any hesitation!”

Mr. Arif Ameer, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“Apollo Diagnostics came highly recommended by my friends. I was particularly impressed by their cordiality, time management and process competence. Another must mention is the hygiene factor that is impeccable. Given the quality delivered, this is certainly a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the great work!”

Ms. A.Madhavi, Warangal

“Our family physician strictly instructed me to get the checkup done at Apollo Diagnostics. I am glad I respected his opinion. I was attended to as soon as I went in. The technician was a true expert at his job and made it a painless experience for me. I also observed that the centre was spotless and all the staff members were particular about maintaining hygiene. Apollo Diagnostics certainly delivers value for money. I’ll always recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Ms. Vimala, Hanmakonda

“My Apollo Diagnostics experience has thus far been truly amazing. Besides unfailingly maintaining the schedule – be it sample taking or report delivery, their sense of cleanliness is also tops. The technicians are well-trained and do their job with diligence and in a friendly manner that puts patients at ease at once. Apollo Diagnostics is setting a very high standard indeed! Now that’s what I call a fine job!”

Ms. G. Jyothi, Warangal