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The term ‘allergy’ is used to describe the body’s immune response when it detects a particular substance in the body. The substance may not necessarily be harmful (hayfever is a response to pollen for example), but the body detects it as foreign and makes an immune response in reaction to it. This reaction causes varying symptoms and disease in a predisposed people.

Allergy is common and affects at least one in four people in the UK at some time in their lives. Allergies are becoming more common, in both adults and children.

While most allergies can be successfully diagnosed and treated by a GP, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) provides a service for more complex patients, where the diagnosis may not be clear, and when more specialised treatment is needed.

Our allergy services include

  • allergy testing (skin prick testing and/or blood testing)
  • detailed planning of treatment and self-help
  • one-stop diagnosis and treatment clinics
  • immunotherapy (allergy vaccination) for suitable patients

Conditions treated include

  • urticaria and angio-oedema
  • food allergy
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Insect sting allergies
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever, dust and animal allergies)
  • Drug allergies

Please note that referrals for eczema management should be directed to the Trust’s Dermatology service.

Last reviewed: 07 March 2024