Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Allergic Diseases
Allergology is a specialist field in medicine that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases.
The drastic increase in allergies, particularly in the Western world, has accompanied a significant growth in the importance of these treatments.
The Consequences of Allergies
Allergies greatly reduce the quality of life of those affected. The symptoms in some cases are not only unpleasant and annoying, they can also be dangerous and in the worst cases even turn out to be deadly (e.g. anaphylactic shock).
The Diagnosis of Allergies
Depending on the type of allergy, there are a variety of diagnostic tests that can be carried out.
For acute response allergies, there are a variety of skin tests (skin prick test, scratch test, intradermal, epicutaneous tests) along with blood tests (RAST, IgE) which are carried out.
For late-phase response allergies, epicutaneous tests (patch tests) come into play.
A so-called ‘Pseudoallergy’, based on the knowledge available today, can be traced in many cases to a hypersensitivity to food and environmental substances and cannot be determined by any type of test. Elimination diets along with food challenge tests can help to find the triggering allergen
The Treatment of Allergies
Once the cause of an allergic condition has been determined after an in-depth diagnosis, a variety of therapeutic measures can be carried out depending on the findings. This includes medicinal therapies, naturopathic procedures or allergen immunotherapy (allergen injections).
Allergy training courses can also help to understand allergies and to avoid the corresponding triggers.
The Chance of Curing Allergies
Allergies and their corollaries can be effectively treated today and the symptoms significantly relieved. A complete cure, however, is normally not possible. The immune system’s predisposition to develop allergies will remain.
Immunotherapy (allergen injection) can ideally lead to a lasting tolerance of the particular allergens.
The Facts on Allergology
|Treatment Length:||For SIT: 3 – 5 years|
|Method of Treatment:||Symptomatic Therapy, Specific Immunotherapy (SIT)|
|Cost:||Symptomatic Therapy: up to 100 euros; SIT: up to 600 euros/year (covered by German statutory health insurance)|