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Allergy Guide

Allergy Guide

What you can find on this page:

What is an allergy ?

Allergy Therapy

Allergy Testing

Food Allergies

Skin Allegies

Asthma

Dust Mites

Mould
Hay Fever
Hay Fever treatments

Allergy Clinics

Allergy Guide

 

What is an allergy ? Back to top

An allergy is an abnormal reaction or sensitivity to a substance or "allergen" you have an allergy contact with.

 

These substances brings on certain symptoms like sneezing, coughing, sore eyes, wheezing, rashes, headache, sickness, nausea, stomach cramps, and even unconsciousness.

 

Some people have severe even life threatening allergies which need immediate medical attention this is called aphylaxis 

 

Common Allergies:

  • Outdoors:trees, grass,

  • pollen, ragweed, mold spores,

  • industrial pollution, car fumes

  • Indoors: house dust, mould, feathers, wool, pets, mites, smoke, aerosols, paint. 

  • Food: milk, eggs, chicken, nuts, shellfish, soybeans, wheat, chocolate, preservatives.

  • Drugs: penicillin

  • Skin: cosmetics, perfumes, nickel, hair dyes, chemicals, plant oils, lanolin.

 

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Allergy Therapy Back to top

  • Avoidance: The first way to control allergies is to try to avoid the offending allergen, do not eat the food you are allergic to, or if environmental remove the offending substance e.g. dust- remove carpets, stuffed animals, old clothes newspapers, books, anything which collects dust. Use masks if in contact with fumes ect.

  • Medication: Medication is important to some allergies such as asthma, and a prescription is needed from your doctor, antihistamine tablets are available over the counter to help hey fever suffers, and last but not least try alternative medicine, such as aromatherapy.  

  • Hypo sensitisation: This involves a doctor or nurse injecting small amounts of the substance you are allergic to into the body, in an attempt to produce blocking antibodies, this after a series of injections the you develop a greater tolerance to the allergen but it is not a total cure.

Allergy Testing Back to top

There are different types of tests performed, firstly there is a prick skin test, the doctor places a drop of the substance he thinks you are allergic to on your forearm and then pricks the skin with a needle causing the substance to enter the body, if you are allergic to it a bump will appear on the skin. The other test is simple a blood test a sample of your blood is sent to a laboratory where it is tested for allergies and the results are sent back in about a week. 

 

Food Allergies Back to top

When you eat something you are allergic to the body thinks you have eaten something that will harm you, it try's to protect you by producing antibodies, when these antibodies are released they trigger symptoms such as swelling of the tongue or throat, breathing problems, sickness, cramps, diarrhoea, hives, drop in blood pressure, symptoms can appear in minutes or up to 2 hours.

 

The only way to control a food allergy is to strictly avoid the food that causes it. Food allergy and food intolerance are two different problems, e.g. lactose intolerance is caused by the lacking of an enzyme in the body to digest milk sugar, not an immune system reaction as with an allergy.

 

Allergies are such heyfeaver and food allergies are quite common not so common are latex and bee sting allergies. When you have an allergic reaction your body reacts by producing which causes many of the undesirable symptoms, often a doctor will prescribe anti- histamine tablets.

 

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Skin Allergies Back to top

Eczema

There are many different types of eczema; infantile eczema, which babies experience as an allergy that they usually grow out of, atopic dermatitis, which is the more persistent form, and contact dermatitis, a sensitive reaction to touching an allergic substance. Atopic eczema affects 15% of young children and is on the increase. Eczema feels itchy, hot, painful and dry. Moisturising is essential to help this discomfort. Many people find that certain food make their condition worse, and asthma sufferers often can predict an attack through a visible worsening of their skin. Sufferers often feel socially isolated by peoples response to their appearance and hence has many physiological side effects.


Symptoms-Redness, flaking, cracking of the skin, Small red water blisters, Itchy, hot and sore, Repeated scratching leads to thickened wrinkled skin, Sufferers may also have atopic asthma or hay fever
Triggers-Atopic dermatitis: Inherited tendency, Dust mite droppings, Grass, Pollen, Animals, Feathers, Some foods. br - Irritant Contact Dermatitis: Detergents, soaps, etc, Solvents, industrial chemicals, Repeated contact with water, Preservatives in creams and cosmetics br - Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Nickel, Perfume, Latex


Treatment
Steroid creams, Antibiotics if skin is infected, Chinese herbal medecine, Homeopathy, Sedating antihistamines to aid sleep
Tips
1. Avoiding known triggers
2. Substitute cows milk for soya for infants with atopic eczema
3. Use bath oils and aqueous creams for cleansing
4. If sensitive to dust mite allergen, use allergy proof bedding
5. Wear non allergic gloves for household cleaning
6. Wash new clothes before wearing, avoid wool, tight clothing, elastic; try cotton clothes instead.

7. Regular application of moisturisers
8. Use gentle cleaning products
9. Avoid soap, bubble bath and harsh detergents
10. Pat or gently slap irritated skin. Do not scratch as this can lead to infection
11. Keep fingernails short or put infants in cotton scratch mitts
12. Try to avoid chronic stress, fatigue
13. Avoid pets: cats, dogs, or birds.
14. Avoid sunburn, try to keep skin cool as perspiration may irritate skin.
15. Test sunscreen lotions before applying generally.
16. After swimming in a chlorinated pool, shower immediately, and apply lubricants.

Hives

Urticaria, hives or nettlerash, which are a side effect rather than a condition, are red, very itchy, swollen areas of the skin. It is caused when histamines and other inflammatory chemicals are released into the skin. Hives appear suddenly and may leave quickly in 1-2 hours, or can last as long as 24 hours. They often appear in clusters, with new clusters appearing as other areas clear. 20% of the population will suffer at some stage of their lives.


Symptoms-Short-lived raised pink or red swellings, that leave red marks that go if a few days, Itchy and irregular shaped patches, Larger swellings, usually located in the eyelids, lips and the mouth, and hands
Triggers-Infections, such as flu or sore throat, Antibiotics and other medications, Foods such as nuts, fish, eggs, milk, tomatoes, vegetables and berries, Food colourings, Some plants, Animals such as cats and dogs

 

Treatment
Antihistimines, Oral steroids, Sprays or injections of adrenalin for severe cases.
Tips 
1. Skin test to diagnose cause where allergy is suspected
2. Avoid known triggers
3. Keep affected area cool
4. Avoid alcohol and spicy foods
5. Avoid aspirin

Asthma Back to top
(From the PDR Family Guide to Prescription Drugs Chapter 14)
Although asthma is a common condition that affects all age groups, one-third of all cases occur in children under 10 years old. This means that approximately three million children in the fifth grade and below suffer from this disorder. Not surprisingly, asthma accounts for more school absences than any other chronic childhood illness.

The chief symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. An asthma attack may be brought on by any of the previously mentioned allergens or by infections in the sinuses or bronchial tubes. Emotional stress, hormonal changes, irritants such as cigarette smoke, changes in temperature and humidity, and exercise also may trigger an asthmatic episode.

Asthma attacks may begin suddenly with the onset of severe symptoms, or start slowly with a gradually increasing difficulty in breathing. A typical acute asthmatic attack is marked by wheezing, labored breathing, tightness in the chest, and a dry cough. Asthma attacks may produce a feeling of suffocation and an inability to speak without frequent pauses to catch the breath. The victim may also have a rapid pulse, sweat profusely, and turn blue

What are dust mites?
Dust mites are tiny bugs - not insects per se, but more closely related to spiders and ticks. They measure about 1/100th of an inch in length, which is smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. Due to their very small size, these dust mites are not visible to the naked eye. They live in bedding, couches, carpet, stuffed toys and old clothing. Dust mites feed on the dead skin that falls off the bodies of humans and animals and on other organic material found where they live.
Dust mites love warm, humid areas filled with dust. Bed pillows, mattresses, carpets and furniture are great places for them to live.

 


Dust Mites
Back to top
Click on the above thumbnail if you really want to see a larger image !

For products to help rid your home of dust mites click on the Green Banner

 

 

How do dust mites affect people?
For most people, while they are disgusting, house dust mites are not actually harmful. However, the medical significance of house dust mites arises because their microscopic cast skins and feces are a major constituent of house dust that induces allergic reactions in some individuals.
For those individuals, inhaling the house dust allergen triggers rhinitis allergica or bronchial asthma. Symptoms are usually respiratory in nature (sneezing, itching, watery eyes, wheezing, etc.) but there are also reports of a red rash around the neck. Other allergic reactions may include headaches, fatigue and depression.

House dust contaminated with the fecal pellets and cast skins of dust mites is one of the most strongly allergenic materials found indoors. Estimates are that dust mites may be a factor in 50 to 80 percent of asthmatics, as well as in countless cases of eczema, hay fever and other allergic ailments.

How do I know if there are dust mites in my home?
House dust mite presence is often suspected before they are actually seen and accurately identified. Usually it happens when somebody in the household experiences any of the above symptoms.
The presence of house dust mites can be confirmed microscopically which requires collecting samples from mattresses, couches or carpets. Also, it requires the use of a microscope with sufficient magnification and the technical ability to recognize house dust mites under the microscope.

 

Mould Back to top

Exposure to mould is widespread and non-seasonal, as moulds grow everywhere; both indoors, such as on window frames and rotting food, and outdoors, with mould on rotting leaves and fungi. Moulds release thousands of microscopic spores into the atmosphere, and it is these spores that cause the allergic reaction in people. Several well-known conditions, such as Farmer's lung and Sauna Taker's lung, are caused by mould allergy. Moulds favour damp musty conditions, such as kitchens and bathrooms, window frames, under wallpaper, on the soil of houseplants, piles of rotting leaves, grass cuttings and compost heaps.
Symptoms-Sneezing, Itchy watery eyes, Runny nose, Eczema, Asthma
Triggers-Any Mould contact
Treatment
Antihistamines, Immunotherapy, Avoidance of allergen
Tips
1. Keep damp areas such as bathrooms well ventilated
2. Refrigerators should be kept clean, watch out for mouldy food.
3. Avoid damp and musty buildings and where HAY is stored.
4. Avoid cutting grass, raking leaves and turning compost heaps.
5. Keep all bathroom surfaces clean
6. Get rid of old foam pillows and mattresses.
7. Do not store clothing or shoes in damp cupboards, leave wardrobe doors ajar to ventilate the clothes.

HayFever
Back to top
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) can be brought on at certain seasons by the airborne pollens of trees, grass, and weeds. Other allergens cause hay fever all year. These year-round troublemakers include molds, dust mites, and animal dander.

Hay fever symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, and an itchy palate and throat. Hay fever can also be accompanied by conjunctivitis (itchy, swollen eyes), malaise, headache, and sinus pain.

 

Hay Fever treatments Back to top

The objective of all current hay Fever treatments is to try to enable you, despite the occurrence of the symptoms, to lead a normal lifestyle by management of these symptoms. The strength of the treatment depends on how bad your symptoms are, and what you really need to do whilst taking the treatment.

 

Tips

1. Avoid pollen, pet hair, dust mites, and central heating.

2. Don't sleep with the windows open

3. Don't drive a car with the windows open

4. Avoid flowers in the house

5. Don't cut the grass on hot sunny days.

6. Don't live next door to a neighbour who cuts grass on hot sunny days.

7. Wear goggles to protect your eyes from pollen.

8. Wear a face mask to stop you breathing in pollutants.

9. Don't keep pets indoors.

10. Put Vaseline on the lining of the nose.

 

Get a life! Most of us cannot live our lives not doing some of these things. Or we don't want to. Why should we? We want to lead a normal life too. 

The treatments only treat the symptoms of hayfever. None treat the causes. They don't work for every allergy. Being medicines, all have some side effects, with varying degrees of intensity.

 

Antihistamine tablets, capsules or liquid medicines.

These are the commonest treatments for hayfever. Their great advantage is that taking one tablet every day will treat the symptoms in the nose, eyes, ears and throat. There are two main kinds of antihistamine taken by mouth.

a) Older antihistamines, which cause drowsiness

b) Newer antihistamines, which cause little or no sleepiness

Older antihistamines, can cause sleepiness, unless your GP prescribes it for you. They maybe cheaper but there is evidence that they may cause road accidents and affect learning in children at school. How do we know? There has been lots of research, which shows this.

 

The new low-sedatory antihistamines are at least as effective for hayfever, but they cost more. These treatments differ in a number of ways. The size of tablets, length of time they act, how effective they are. The extent to which they cause drowsiness, and of course price!

 

Antiallergenic nasal sprays or eye drops:

Like antihistamine sprays or drops they are used when people do not want to use steroid sprays or drops, which cause serious side effects.

Eye drops sting if your eyes are inflamed. The reason for this is the germ killing antiseptic. The stinging soon stops. You need to use eye drops continually for some days for them to become effective. If you can't stand the stinging - eye drops are not for you. Nose sprays may sting as well.

 

Antihistamine sprays or drops for noses or eyes:

These work about as well as the antiallergenic sprays and drops. They have the same advantages and disadvantages. They only work in your nose or eyes. If they work then that is great. You get a good result without taking tablets, which get into your body.

 

Steroid sprays or drops:

This spray is very effective in the nose. Steroid sprays seem to work particularly well against blockages in your nose. However a steroid nasal spray is a watery liquid. This is not the easiest of treatments to deliver up the nose. It can easily run down the back of your throat or run out of your nose.

 

Sticky steroid sprays are formulated to stick to the lining of your nose. This stops it running out or trickling down the throat. You need to take them continuously. Miss a dose and they do not work instantly. Steroid sprays are a low dose. You spray them where you want them. You don't need to use much as far the body is concerned. Secondly they are biodegradable. They break down very quickly in the body. They don't cause side effects. Except for stinging in the nose for some people.

 

Nose bleeds are uncommon and are often of a temporary nature. They are not serious. If you have delicate blood vessels in your nose you should get rid of them first by cauterisation.

 

Steroid eye drops are very effective but can lead to side effects. If you want to take steroid sprays or drops, please consult your doctor.

 

Decongestant sprays:

These can help over a short period of a few days. But can cause more trouble than you started with, if it is used for longer. They give excellent relief of the blockage in the nose .The only problem is that when they wear off. Soon afterwards, the nose is blocked again. If anything it is worse than before. This goes on and on. You end up with a worse blocked nose than before.

 

Decongestant tablets:

They can help, but the risks are considered serious by some authorities. They definitely help blockage of the nose, there is evidence that on rare occasions they may have devastating side effects. They can cause trouble especially in people with high blood pressure and difficulties in sleeping. If you do wish to take decongestants by mouth, consult your doctor first.

 

Steroid tablets or injections.

They work well but have side effects too. They should be used for only short periods. Why inject if taking other treatments work just as well? Consult your GP before administering any injections.

 

Desensitizing injections:

Hardly used much in Britain anymore. You should have advice from an allergy specialist. It is time consuming and expensive, especially the way it is done in Britain. There is a risk from the treatment.

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 Allergy Clinics In Manchester Back to top

Clare Jones Nutritional Therapy
Tel 07985 166606
164 Manchester Road
Chorlton, Manchester, M16 0DZ


Salford Allergy Clinic

0161 7956225
14 Marston Road, Salford, Manchester, M7 4ER

Map & Directions

Alan Hopewell

0161 794 0665
177 Moorside Rd, Manchester, M27 9LD

NutriHealth Clinic

0161 628 2664
5 Lawers Avenue, Oldham, OL9 0LF

P. Dewhurst B.Sc. Hons, RGN.

0161 9620433
17 Ruskin Drive, Sale, M33 5TQ

Silent Mites

0161 941 2965
4 Chelford Close, Altrincham, WA15 8HZ
 
Allergy & Food Intolerance Clinic

0161 763 1660
Bury Complementary Health Centre,

12 Tenterden St,Jubilee Way, Bury, BL9 0EG
 
F Kershner

01457 765213
36 Market St, Hyde, SK14 6JG
 
A Touch of Health

01706 647151
39 Moss Avenue, Rochdale, OL16 4AA

Allergy & Nutrition Northwest

01204 655599
10 Atholl Close, Bolton, BL3 4NY

Medi-Lab Ltd

0161 877 6336
Michigan House Michigan Avenue, Salford, M50 2GY

The Medicine Shop Ltd

01625 599777
48b London Rd, Alderley Edge, SK9 7DZ

Map & Directions

Allergeeze

01925 826457
178 Manchester Rd, Warrington, WA1 4HN

The Midland Hotel

0161 236 3333
within The Midland, 16 Peter St, Manchester, M60 2DS

George House Trust

0161 274 4499
77 Ardwick Green North, Manchester, M12 6FX

Elizabeth Harfleet DNN, Mbant

0161 740 5917
12 Gwendor Avenue, Manchester, M8 4LE

Ayurveda and Homeopathy

0161 226 6723

Science of Life Foundation Whalley Range, 11 Manley Road,

Manchester, M16 8PN

Margaret Moss Nutritionist

0161 432 0964
11 Mauldeth Close, Stockport, SK4 3NP

Julie G.Thomasson Lynch, PhD, Ficht, Mcipd

0161 8813421
Human Touch Complementary, Therapy Clinic, Stretford,

Manchester, M32 8GR

C. Allergeeze

01925 826457
178 Manchester Rd, Warrington, WA1 4HN

 

Pure Health Clinic

01457 877799
91 High St, Oldham, OL3 6BD

Peter Wesson Adhp (NC),MNRHP,Ukcp Regd

0161 763 1660
Complementary Health Clinic, 12 Tenterden St, Bury,

BL9 0EG

 

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