Our Services: Airborne and Food Allergy Testing, Treatment, and Worker’s Compensation in Sydney
The Australian Allergy Centre is widely known as the most trusted clinic for airborne, food and contact allergy testing in Sydney. Our highly qualified and experienced team of medical professionals offer a range of treatments to get you back on track to your full potential.
What is an Allergy?
An allergy is an overreaction of the body’s immune system to an ordinarily harmless substance. Common causes of allergy include house dust mite, pollen, mould, animal dander and foods.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies play a major role in allergy. When a substance (or allergen) is perceived as threatening, the body’s immune system produces allergen-specific IgE antibodies for protection. From then on, whenever the allergen is detected in the allergic individual’s body, the IgE antibodies respond by activating the immune system’s mast cells in the skin and mucosal tissues. The mast cells release histamine and other inflammatory mediators, and the allergic cascade begins.
There are many different types of allergic disease, including hay fever (allergic rhinitis), allergic asthma, contact dermatitis, and food allergies. Allergic reactions can range in severity from mild hay fever symptoms and localised rashes, through to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
We are a combined provider of airborne and food allergy testing in Sydney.
Skin Prick Testing and Blood Testing
- Skin Prick Testing: involves the introduction of small amounts of suspected allergens onto and just below the surface of the skin. A small, superficial break in the skin is made with prickers which have been dipped in allergen extracts. The skin is then closely observed for 15 minutes for signs of a wheal and flare reaction. SPT has a high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of allergic sensitivities. It is well tolerated, carries low risk and delivers rapid results.
- Blood testing: where a skin prick test cannot be carried out, an allergen specific IgE blood test (RAST blood test) can be performed to establish which allergens may be causing your symptoms. The results take approximately one week to return.
Food Allergy Testing
At the Australian Allergy Centre, we offer skin prick testing and blood testing for the diagnosis of food allergies. We DO NOT perform food challenges. Please note, if you are intending to have allergy testing due to an episode of anaphylaxis, please inform staff at the time of booking your appointment. This is important, as you may not be eligible for allergy testing within our clinic.
In order to assess the severity of your condition, our doctors may perform a nasoendoscopy. This requires a small fibreoptic camera to be passed through the nostrils to visualise the lining of the nose and sinuses to detect allergic disease.
A comprehensive consultation involving advanced assessment, physical examination, and follow ups, will allow us to gain a detailed understanding of your condition.
Worker’s Compensation Allergy Testing
Due to their high and ever-increasing prevalence, allergic diseases have emerged as a serious public health issue in Australia and present a major socio-economic burden. Our medical professionals are experienced in the provision of worker’s compensation claims following allergy testing. We can provide initial work cover certificates for allergy related claims.
School and Day Care – Asthma, Allergy and Anaphylaxis Planning
Our healthcare professionals will work with you to create an asthma action plan, or action plan for anaphylaxis, should your child be diagnosed with allergic asthma, food allergies or experience anaphylaxis, whilst attending day care or school. The importance of a safe environment for young allergy sufferers cannot be overemphasized. We also update existing EpiPen scripts annually.
Whatever the severity of your allergy, our medical team will work with you to offer the best possible cure.
Immunotherapy (or desensitisation) reduces one’s sensitivity to particular allergens, eventually building a tolerance. This treatment has an effect on the cause of the disease, reducing the production of the IgE antibodies that induce an allergic reaction and the production of the chemical substances released after the contact, thereby reducing the inflammation and the symptoms of allergic disease.
Rhinolight® Phototherapy is a treatment of the nasal mucosa suitable for patients who suffer from allergic rhinitis (hay fever). Rhinolight Phototherapy dampens the body’s immune response to inhaled allergens (such as pollens, moulds, animal dander and mites) and the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, by inhibiting the release of histamine (and other inflammatory markers) from the mast cells situated within the lining of the nose. Rhinolight is quick, painless and very effective. Patients are required to undergo eight treatments within a six week period.
Contact Dermatitis Assessment
Contact dermatitis is a skin condition in which direct contact with an allergen triggers a cell mediated allergic response and the development of localised itchy, red rashes on the skin. The rashes typically present a few days after contact with the allergen and persist for as long as there is contact with the allergen.
At the Australian Allergy Centre, we offer Patch Testing for the diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis. The patch tests we use, screen for sensitivity to 80% of the most common causative agents of contact dermatitis. Substances tested include nickel, fragrances, parabens and a range of other allergen components commonly found within jewellery, metal, cosmetics, skin care products, soaps, fragrances, hair shampoos, conditioners and dyes, topical medications, creams and ointments, adhesives and bandages, fabrics, inks, household disinfectants and industrial products, and other everyday materials.
Patches are typically placed on an individual’s back and worn for 48 hours. The test area is then examined for signs of an allergic reaction at 48 and 72-96 hours following initial patch application.
At the Australian Allergy Centre patch testing is available for $220, with a Medicare rebate of $53.10.