Oral challenges are carried out to review if a child has outgrown a previously confirmed allergy. This is done in a hospital under controlled conditions. Some children may have a minor reaction of a rash or lip swelling. There is a rare risk of anaphylaxis which is why the challenge is done under controlled conditions. There is full paediatric resuscitation back-up available, if required.
The benefit of a food challenge is that it will confirm whether a child is allergic to a food or medicine in a controlled safe hospital setting.
Allergy Desensitisation (Immunotherapy)
Desensitisation treatment is used when a child’s quality of life is not good despite them using conventional medication and allergen avoidance. Immunotherapy works by influencing the immune system by administering graduated doses of allergens - with a very small dose and increasing step-by-step under medical observation.
At present specific Immunotherapy is used to treat sensitisation caused by;
- House dust mite
- Bee or wasp venom allergy
In addition there may be specific situations when it can be used to treat sensitisation caused by cats and dogs.
The treatment is given either by taking sublingual drops or tablets therapy or sub cutaneous injections therapy.