Although the word allergy is commonly used to describe any unpleasant reaction, this can be misleading. The word should only be used to describe a reaction produced by the immune system to a normally harmless substance.

Whether it’s seasonal or throughout the year, allergies aggravate one in four Australians, causing mild to overwhelming discomfort.

When an allergen enters the body, the immune system kicks in to counter the effects. In most cases, the immune system produces histamine, which causes the allergic symptoms typically associated with allergies and hay fever. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Scratchy throat

People who have allergies often are generally sensitive to more than one thing. Substances that often cause allergic reactions are:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Mould spores
  • Pet dander
  • Food
  • Insect stings
  • Medicines

Through physical examination and skin tests, Dr Indu Gunawardena can determine exactly what allergens specifically affect you and can then prescribe a suitable treatment.