Allergy testing methods

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Allergy testing methods

skin testsThere are millions of possible allergens but only a few common allergy tests. These tests include skin prick and patch tests, blood tests and challenge tests.

 

The skin tests are done on site and take between 20 – 45 minutes to get a result,  blood tests need to be sent off to a reference laboratory and results usually take 4-5 days.

The most appropriate test is usually suggested by a full medical history, including your symptoms, details of when they occur and any other relevant information such as current treatments.

Some tests can give a general view of the immune system and others a specific trigger from a chemical, plant or animal suggested from the history.

Many conditions that patients report as allergy are due to an intolerance and not triggered through the immune system at all. For these allergy tests do not usually help the diagnosis.

Recent advances in specific blood test can be helpful in predicting cross reaction between for example certain nuts and vegetables and allow a better understanding of some of the rarer forms of allergy.

Many people will have abnormal allergy test results, but unless these are associated with clinical symptoms they may require little treatment.

If you think you have allergies it is useful to document the episodes s they occur and try to identify any specific and repeated triggers common to events.

 

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With specialist interest in sleep medicine, Dr Pepperell is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of snoring, and in dealing with sleep apnoea, respiratory failure and pleural disease. He has a strong research background and has published over 30 peer-reviewed publications on sleep apnoea and cardiovascular disease, and currently runs an active research programme, as well as editing Journal submissions and writing Medicolegal reports on Asbestos related disease, personal injury and occupational lung disease. Dr Pepperell has also developed advanced techniques in bronchoscopy and medical thoracoscopy and established a sleep laboratory and medical thoracoscopy service for the investigation of pleural fluid collections.