Sunshine Coast Allergy Testing / Treatment by Dr Alison Muller
20% of Australians have one or more allergies, making us one of the most allergic nations in the world. Allergic reactions can range from slight sensitivity to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Your sensitivity to one allergen does not mean you are sensitive to any other allergens that cause other people issues. An allergic reaction is your body’s defence mechanism kicking in to protect you from a perceived threat.
Common allergies include:
- Hay fever
- Allergic asthma
- Eczema (Dermatitis)
- Food allergies
- Penicillin allergy
- Bee venom allergy
Dr. Alison Muller is highly sought after on the Sunshine Coast for her knowledge of allergies and treatments (including allergen immunotherapy) and also for her tremendous success with severe eczema patients of all ages. Alison treats patients referred to her by GPs, dermatologists, paediatricians and allergists from as far away as Bundaberg and the Gold Coast. Alison is endorsed by renowned South African dermatologist Dr Richard Aron whose area of expertise is severe eczema. Please call 5444 2666 to book an appointment with Dr Alison Muller.
Severe Eczema is a condition affecting children and adults that can cause excruciating pain, red itching weeping skin, infections, sleepless nights, exhaustion, poor quality of life, and feeling of hopelessness. Less effective treatments may include diets. bleach baths, wet wrapping, paste bandages, moisturisers, herbs, acupuncture, steroids and antibiotics. Effective treatment can have dramatic results within days – quickly giving you a healthy happy life back, free of eczema!
Our treatment begins with a 30 minute appointment charged at $180 (with medicare rebates depending on actual time taken) Followup reviews are $80 (bulk billed for children under 16 yrs or pension card holders)
Skin Prick Tests
The first step in dealing with someone with any allergy is to achieve an accurate diagnosis of the allergy. Depending on the nature of your allergy, a skin prick test may be carried out (also called a puncture or scratch test) which will test for allergic reactions to as many as 50 different substances at once. On adults and children this is normally done on the forearm, and on babies occasionally on the upper back. The tests use plastic lancets that barely penetrate the skin, so you won’t bleed or feel any pain. Dr Muller will draw a series of marks on your skin followed by the lancet prongs to guide the allergen into the skin, using a new lancet for each allergen. Two additional comparison substances are tested on your skin – a histamine, which causes a reaction in most people (just to make sure you do react to allergies), and saline to see if you react to something which should not cause a reaction (if you react to this there may be some false positive results on the other test spots). After 15 minutes you are checked for allergic reactions and we measure the size of any raised red itchy bumps (like a mozzie bite) and records the results. You’ll know the results of a skin prick test before you leave our clinic.
Skin prick testing begins with a one hour consultation charged at $380 for all patients, with possible rebates depending on allergens used. You must complete a questionnaire and will receive instructions about ceasing all antihistamines, Singulair tablets (if safe to do so) and antihistamine nose sprays for three days prior to the appointment. Followup appointments are $180, bulk billed for concession card holders and children.
Desensitization Treatments (Immunotherapy or Allergy Vaccination)
Once we have determined your environmental allergies we can consider desensitization, which works like a vaccination. (Food desensitization is still in the study phase and not yet readily available outside of large teaching institutions.)
We start by injecting a tiny dose of your allergen, after having pre-dosed with a non-sedating antihistamine such as Zyrtec and then monitor your reaction for 30 minutes. After one week you return and we inject a more concentrated dose. You are then at maintenance dose and will continue to have monthly injections at that dose for a total of 3 years. You will be monitored for 30 minutes following each injection to observe for adverse reactions. Allergen immunotherapy can stop after three years. Studies have shown that many patients no longer suffer allergic response for up to 10 years after ceasing vaccinations.
Monthly appointments are bulk billed.
Allergens can also be administered at home using drops under the tongue. This is a daily process for 4 years and has a similar success rate to the subcutaneous injections which are applied over 3 years.
Food Intolerance and Unsettled Babies
Food intolerance in babies can cause reflux (food and stomach acid flow back up the food pipe), stomach/bowel cramping, green mucousy stools, constipation, eczema, appetite and growth issues, pain and a severely distressed and sleep deprived baby AND parents! Most infants outgrow food intolerance and reflux but some forms of reflux are severe and ongoing (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease GORD) leading to feeding and speech issues. Treatment includes RPAH elimination diet and Losek.
Initial 30 minute appointment is $180, with medicare rebates depending on actual time, and reviews are bulk billed as the patients are under 16 . A 30 minute followup is often required.
Management of Lipoedema (Abnormal Fat Condition)
Lipoedema is a non-allergic condition affecting mainly women, characterised by painful swelling of the legs, thighs and buttocks and sometimes the arms, due to accumulation of abnormal fat under the skin. A related abnormality in lymphatic drainage is associated with this condition. It normally affects approximately 11% of women. The condition is recognised by absence of fat on ankles or feet, lack of fat on the upper body, and diet / exercise does not decrease fat on the legs. Patients find that diet and exercise shifts only the lifestyle-related fat, not the abnormal Lipoedema fat tissue. There are a range of conservative and active treatment modalities that can be explored.
Initial half hour appointment is $180. Followup 15 min appointments are bulk billed for pensioners and concession card holders.
To book an appointment with Dr Alison Muller regarding your allergy or Lipoedema condition please call and speak with one of our friendly Bundilla Clinic receptionists at 5444 2666.