Skip to the content

More information about allergy

Reactions to stings can cause large local swelling, which settles over a few days. However, if stings cause symptoms away from the site of the sting or make a person feel unwell, a specialist referral should be considered. Read: Insect sting allergy - the facts

Where appropriate, we offer immunotherapy (desensitisation) which is an effective treatment for bee and wasp allergy.  It is a three-year course of injections. Read: UHNM venom patient information leaflet

Hayfever is a common allergic reaction which occurs at particular times of the year. It is also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis occurring as a reaction to pollen from grass, trees and weeds during the early spring and summer months. It can affect both adults and children.

Perennial allergic rhinitis, where symptoms persist all through the year, is usually caused due to allergy to house dust mite.

Read: UHNM allergic rhinitis patient information leaflet 

For patients who suffer with severe symptoms despite the best standard of therapy, we may recommend immunotherapy (desensitisation). This is a three-year treatment programme consisting of either a daily tablet under the tongue or a course of injections. Read: UHNM immunotherapy patient information leaflet - 2017

Some patients with symptoms of rhinitis do not have an allergy.

Read: UHNM non-allergic rhinitis patient information leaflet

Food allergies, unlike intolerances, are an immune response to specific food allergens. They are more common in children. Read: Food allergy information from Allergy UK

Occasionally we offer food challenges in clinic to rule out food allergies. Read: UHNM food challenge patient information leaflet - 2017

The respiratory specialists in Royal Stoke University Hospital manage asthma. However, some asthma patients with allergies may need to be seen in our clinic. Your GPs or specialists may be able to take this decision where appropriate. 

Most reactions that occur when people take medications are caused by side effects.

Testing for drug allergy may not be straight-forward and often it is better to just avoid the drug.  When this causes a problem, a referral to the allergy clinic may be appropriate. Read: UHNM drug & vaccine challenge patient information leaflet - 2017

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening.  All patients who have a reaction like this should be seen by a doctor who can identify a possible cause and will provide a plan including how to manage allergic reactions. For more information, click here:

Patients referred with reactions after local anaesthetic generally bypass the general clinic and are seen in the challenge clinic.  Allergy to local anaesthetic is extremely rare.

Urticaria – also known as hives, wheals, welts or nettle rash – is a raised, itchy rash that appears on the skin. It may appear on one part of the body or be spread across large areas.  Sometimes it is associated with swelling called angioedema.  Less often angioedema may occur on its own.  In the allergy clinic about 1 in 3 patients we see have urticaria.  Chronic urticaria, lasting for more than 6 weeks, is unlikely to be due to allergy.

Occasionally patients on blood pressure tablets called 'ACE inhibitors', for example Ramipril, develop angioedema.  Your own doctor will be able to offer a safe and suitable alternative to these drugs. It is important that you contact them. Read: UHNM CSAU patient information leaflet - 2017

For patients with urticaria not responding to high dose anti-histamine or monteleukast, we can offer omalizumab treatment. Read: UHNM Omalizumab patient information leaflet - 2017

Other sources of useful information:

Information for primary care physicians: UHNM management of CSAU