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Centres of Excellence -> Pulmonology -> Diagnostics and treatment of allergies

Diagnostics and treatment of allergies

It is an altered and unnecessary immune response of our body. Immunity is what allows us to live and survive in an environment full of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Deviation of immunity from normal leads to disease. When the immune system is weakened, people are prone to infections. When the immunity is "too strong", that is also not good because unnecessary immune reactions known as allergies then take place. Allergies are actually called hypersensitivity reactions.

Why are allergies a common topic?

Allergies are called the disease of the modern age for a reason, given the number of people who suffer from ailments caused by allergies.

In the last few decades, we have witnessed the global phenomenon of an increase in the number of allergic diseases. It is estimated that 15-25% of the world's population suffers from some form of allergic disease. Allergies significantly impair the quality of life. Due to allergies, the number of absence days from work has increased nowadays. According to data from the literature, it is known that children with allergies have significantly worse results in school at the time of allergens pollination to which they are sensitive, and students with allergies have significantly lower pass rates on exams.

Why are allergies on the rise?

It is not entirely clear why allergies are on the rise but there are several theories.  

Since it has been noticed that allergic people are more likely to live in urban areas (cities) than in rural areas (villages), it seems that excessive “sterility” of space or lack of contact with some allergens at an earlier age, when the immune system develops, has quite a significant impact. It is probably also important that children in cities do not have contact with domestic animals and are too exposed to indoor allergens, such as house dust mites or pet hair (where the cat allergen is particularly aggressive).

“Hygiene” theory

Excessive cleaning with chemicals and our tendency to sterile space does not contribute to the physiological maturation of the immune system and various hypersensitivity can occur.

“Diet” theory

Low-fat food, which is used to prevent cardiovascular diseases and the addition of many additives and preservatives to food are one of the causes of allergies.

How do we diagnose allergies?

Taking a good medical history can greatly help us in a well-made diagnosis.

The subjective testimony of the patient and the targeted questions of the experienced physician play a major role in discovering the cause of the allergy.

Method by which we can determine allergies:

• Blood test

For the final diagnosis of allergy, it is necessary to determine the concentration of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the blood. The test determines the total amount of IgE, and/or determines the specific IgE for individual allergens. An increased number of eosinophilic leukocytes (eosinophilia) is characteristic of a chronic allergic inflammatory reaction, so we often determine their number in nasal swabs (allergic rhinitis), cough (asthma) or in peripheral blood.

Contact St. Catherine Specialty Hospital and do a blood test to determine if you are sensitive to certain allergens.

How do we treat allergies?

Once the diagnosis of allergic disease has been made, it is necessary to use medications prescribed by a physician.

The use of medications establishes control of allergic disease and helps to avoid possible complications.

Different groups of drugs are used in treatment:

  • antihistamines (preventing the action of histamine),
  • corticosteroids (relieving inflammation and stoping the development of allergic reactions),
  • anticholinergics (reducing the effect of acetylcholine),
  • antileukotrienes (preventing the inflammatory effect of leukotrienes),
  • chromones (inhaled anti-inflammatory drugs).

How to prepare for allergological testing?

1. A person should be fasting.

2. It is not necessary to stop using antihistamines or corticosteroids

3. We do blood sampling for people that are over 13 years old

4. Test results are issued within 7 days of testing

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