Allergies explained

Joyce Clegg, managing director of The Allergy Clinic in the Galway Clinic, explains how allergies work.

"Allergy symptoms will last through out the whole year and are not just for summer," she said. "If you have been living with undiagnosed allergies you will most likely have been suffering for quite some time before seeking treatment.

"When you have allergies, your immune system reacts to a substance — such as pollen, dust mites, mould, pet dander, or food — and identifies these substances as harmful, even though they are not. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system's reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways, or digestive system, making you feel generally unwell.

"The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to severe symptoms or to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency. Common symptoms of allergies include coughing; swelling of the lips, tingling tongue; dark circles under the eyes; itchy eyes and nose; runny nose; sneezing; watery eyes; migraine or sinus headaches; body rash; upset stomach; or anaphylaxis.

"If you are suffering with any of these symptoms, we recommend you come to The Allergy Clinic where we will do a comprehensive skin prick allergy test to uncover your allergy drivers. You will receive your results before you leave our clinic along with a full management plan and a referral to a consultant specialist if need be.

"Our medical team are specialist in the field of allergies and endeavour to help all of our patients, adults and children, lead an allergy controlled healthy life.

To find out more or to discuss an appointment contact The Allergy Clinic at 091 720277, email [email protected], or see


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