What is an Allergy?

Allergies are a range of conditions caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to usually harmless substances in the environment.

Examples of these include hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma, and anaphylaxis. Common allergens include pollen and certain foods, while insect stings and medications are common causes of severe reactions.

Allergies are common in the developed world, with about 20% of people are affected by allergic rhinitis,  about 6% of people have at least one food allergy and about 20% have atopic dermatitis at some point in time.

How do allergies affect people?

When you have allergies it is caused by your immune system making antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system’s reaction can create symptoms that affect your eyes, skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system. Symptoms can occur in a range of severity from mild to extreme and include red eyes, an itchy rash, sneezing, a runny nose, shortness of breath, or swelling. Food intolerances and food poisoning are separate conditions.

The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis—a potentially life threatening emergency. Every person is unique; as a result a substance that causes severe allergic symptoms in one person may be completely harmless to another.

How are allergies are diagnosed?

The first step in immunotherapy is a diagnosis made by a trained and qualified healthcare professional.

A thorough patient history, combined with a quick and painless skin prick test, is used to make a diagnosis. The test will identify what allergen/s a patient has sensitivity to.  A very small amount of certain allergens is put into the patient’s skin by making a small indentation or prick’ on the surface of the skin.

If the allergy is positive, a little swelling that looks like a mosquito bite will occur where the allergen was introduced. Results are easy to read and interpret by specialists trained in the field of clinical immunology and allergy.

Once a diagnosis has been made, a patient specific treatment schedule is created to match the therapeutic needs of the patient. Gamma Allergy has developed its treatment technology and schedules utilising over four decades of experience in conjunction with the latest scientific research from around the globe.

Types of allergy treatment

There are two methods of immunotherapy currently used to treat chronic allergies; 


(Subcutaneous Immunotherapy) also known as ‘SCIT’

Oral drops administered under the tongue

(Sublingual Immunotherapy) also known as ‘SLIT’.

The method of treatment that is most suitable for patients is determined by your Doctor.  Injections are scheduled with your healthcare provider and delivered according to a dosage schedule.  Initially commencing as weekly injections and then progressing to monthly as the treatment progresses and you begin to build resistance.

Sublingual treatment is done at home and the drops are administered under the tongue daily, with scheduled follow up consultations with your Doctor.

Both routes of treatment offer equal therapeutic qualities and are commitments that require dedication on the patient’s behalf to achieve the best results. In addition to being diligent on immunotherapy treatment, it is also important to take reasonable measures to avoid allergens that are known to be responsible for allergies.

Your allergy specialist will be able to answer any questions about either method of treatment, as well as ways to avoid problem allergens.

Learn more about our treatment plans