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Allergy and immunology

Understanding, treating and managing allergies, asthma and immunologic disorders

Close view of healthcare in latex gloves marking patients forearm for allergy test
If you are living with severe or life-threatening allergies, or suffering from difficult symptoms that you believe to be a result of allergies, our allergy and immunology specialists are here for you. From food allergies to immunological diseases, we can help you take control of your condition. Our allergy and immunology departments help people to understand their allergies, reduce their symptoms and learn to manage the realities of life with allergies.

Allergy and immunology treatment with us will be carried out by our multidisciplinary team, comprising of dedicated consultants, nurses, and more. From asthma and rhinitis to more complex allergic diseases and anaphylaxis, we offer fast access to accurate diagnostic testing and a wide variety of treatment options.

Call or book online to see how we can help you take control of your allergies.

Allergy and immunology involves the testing, diagnosis, treatment and management of allergic and immunological conditions in order to help improve your quality of life.

According to the NHS, allergies affect more than a quarter of the population during their lifetime. Symptoms can range from mild and irritating, to severe and life-threatening. Allergies can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, environmental factors and early illness.

Allergic symptoms occur when your immune system has a hypersensitive reaction to a harmless substance (usually a protein). This is because your immune system wrongly identifies the substance (known as the allergen) as harmful, overreacting to its presence by producing antibodies. These release histamine and other chemicals, causing the allergic reaction.

Allergy testing can identify what is provoking this response. Common allergens include grass and tree pollen (causing an allergy known as hay fever), dust mites, insect stings, and certain foods including nuts, shellfish and cows' milk. Certain medicines, latex and household chemicals can also illicit allergic reactions in people. Most of these allergens are harmless for people who do not have allergies.

Some allergies are mild and manageable, but if your allergy or asthma symptoms are getting out of control, or are affecting your quality of life, then an allergist can help you manage or treat them. One of the main goals of the allergist is to avoid the development of chronic illness. You should see an allergist if:  

  • Your asthma or allergy symptoms are interfering with day-to-day activities
  • Over the counter medication doesn’t control your allergy symptoms or causes uncomfortable side effects
  • You have previously been diagnosed with asthma, and you have frequent asthma attacks even though you are taking asthma medication
  • You experience allergy symptoms several months out of the year

H3: What are the symptoms of allergies?

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from the very mild to the severe and even life-threatening. Common symptoms include:

  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing, wheezing and breathlessness
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting
  • Nausea

Some allergic reactions are more worrying than others. Seek emergency care if you experience:

  • A severe skin rash
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in your chest
  • A swollen or tight throat
  • Trouble breathing or talking
  • Swelling of your mouth, tongue, lips or face

Some of the most common treatments our specialists offer include:

Allergy testing

If you suffer from allergies, allergy testing can help identify what these are, so you can effectively eliminate them and manage your symptoms. Common types of allergy testing our specialists perform include skin prick tests, specific IgE blood tests, patch tests, and provocation tests.

Allergy medicine

Allergy medicine can involve the use of safe, long-term medications to control chronic conditions, and training in self-use of rescue medication in case of anaphylaxis due to inadvertent allergen exposure. You may also be trained in avoidance of triggers to prevent or reduce disease, and the use of prophylactic treatment for predictable allergen exposure.

Allergen immunotherapy

Allergen immunotherapy (sometimes called desensitisation treatment) involves giving increasing doses of an allergen. The treatment can be given by injection (subcutaneous immunotherapy), or by drops placed under the tongue (oral immunotherapy). Unlike allergy medicine which only suppresses symptoms, immunotherapy treatment works by re-programming your immune system to prevent allergy symptoms from developing in the first place.

You can access specialist care with us using private medical insurance or by paying for your own treatment.

Sometimes this type of treatment will be covered by your private health insurance, but not always. Speak to your provider directly to see what's covered in your policy.

If you want to pay for your own treatment, you can either pay in full or take advantage of our flexible payment options, which allow you to spread the cost over a period of up to five years.

Our self-pay customers benefit from fixed-price packages, meaning you'll know exactly what you're going to pay before you book your treatment. Your initial consultation and early tests won't be included, but the cost of your course of therapy is, along with any additional treatments you need. There are no hidden costs down the line.

The first step to access private allergy and immunology services with us is usually to arrange an appointment with one of our specialists. They will be able to assess and diagnose your condition and talk you through the available treatment options, and together you'll decide on the best route for you.

To book your initial consultation, call our dedicated team of advisors, or take advantage of our easy online booking system.

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

If you would like to learn more about how our specialists can help you, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in June 2023. Next review due June 2026.

  1. Allergies, NHS
  2. What is an immunologist, WebMD
  3. Immunology and allergy, NHS
  4. Allergy and immunology, NHS

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