When can I see a doctor?
Patient consultations: Tuesdays and Thursdays 09h00–13h00 by appointment.
What is an allergy?
Allergies are very common and increasing in South Africa, affecting around one in three people at some time in their lives. There are many different causes of allergy and symptoms vary from mild to potentially life threatening. Allergy is also one of the major factors associated with the cause and persistence of asthma.
Allergy definition: Allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to substances that do not bother most people. These substances are known as allergens.
What areas of the body are affected by an allergy?
The nose, eyes, sinuses and throat:
When allergens are breathed in, the release of histamine causes the lining of your nose to produce lots of mucus and to become swollen and inflamed. It causes your nose to run and itch and sneezing may occur. Your eyes may start to water and you may get a post nasal drip.
The lungs and chest:
Asthma can be triggered during an allergic reaction. The lining of the passages in the lungs swells and makes breathing difficult. Not all asthma is caused by allergy.
The stomach and bowel:
Foods which are most commonly associated with allergy include peanut, seafood, dairy products and eggs. Cow’s milk allergy in infants may occur and can cause eczema, asthma or colic. Some people cannot digest lactose (milk sugar). This intolerance to lactose can cause stomach upsets, but is not an allergy.
Skin problems such as eczema (dry, red, itchy skin) and urticaria (also known as hives) may occur. Food may be implicated.
Can I continue with my present medication before my consultation?
You must stop all antihistamines 3 days before you come for your appointment.
Do you do blood tests or skin tests?
We do blood tests and skin tests. The doctor will decide on the most appropriate tests for your particular condition.
Do you do immunotherapy?
Yes, we offer injectable and sublingual immunotherapy.
What is an immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a form of treatment to reduce allergic reaction to allergens. Allergens are substances to which you are allergic. Immunotherapy can reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and allergic asthma. Immunotherapy can be effective against grass, house dust mites, cat and dog dander and insect stings. Immunotherapy are less effective against moulds and are not a useful method for the treatment of food allergy.
Immunotherapy consists of a series of injections (shots) or sublingual (under the tongue drops) with a solution containing the allergens that cause your symptoms. Treatment usually begins with a weak solution, and strength of the solution is gradually increased with each dose.
Once the strongest dosage is reached, you have decreased your sensitivity to the allergens and have reached your maintenance level. Maintenance is usually continued for at least 2 years.