Doctor’s Overview of Allergies & How to Help You and Your Loved Ones

Accept?, Avoid? or Act! – A doctor’s overview of allergies and how to help you and your loved ones

Stuffy or Runny Nose? 
Postnasal drip coughing? 
Itchy, watery eyes?
Itchy Rashes?
Sneezing, feeling tired, irritable and miserable?

Chances are if you or your child has faced any of the above symptoms, you likely are suffering from allergies.

Allergies are becoming more common worldwide. In our urban environments such as Singapore, industrialization and climate change has caused more people to become sensitive to allergens, developing new allergies or even getting worse symptoms from their present allergies.

Besides the persistence of symptoms, the indirect costs of an undiagnosed allergy pile up – medications that do not work, medication side effects, frustration, unable to enjoy a normal day and the list goes on…

Read: How Do I Know If I Have Allergies?

In the adverse situation, the allergy may worsen in the “allergic march”. If you or your child’s allergy is not diagnosed and treated, there is a chance the allergy will go from sensitive skin (eczema),  sensitive nose (allergic rhinitis) to food allergies to mild lung allergy (bronchial hyper-reactivity) and then to severe lung allergy (asthma).

The symptoms we described above can all be caused by a simple sensitive nose!

According to the World Allergy Organization (WAO)’s white book report, for those with allergies, more than half of adults, as well as 9 in 10 children, suffer from concurrent sleep problems. These sleep problems add up and cause daytime lethargy, tiredness and even decreased cognitive functioning. These further translate into behaviour and inattention problems in children and learning disorders in class.

Targeted and appropriate treatment for allergies prevents the “allergic march”. This can prevent future development of sensitive nose, mild or severe lung allergy, potentially saving families money and time.

Home remedies and medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays all help decrease allergies and their resultant symptoms. But they do not cure the problem. The symptoms often come back after the medications are stopped. 

The definitive way of treating allergies is ultimately to target the root cause. And at Dr Tan & Partners (DTAP Clinic), we offer a 2 step solution in identifying the root cause and treating it.


Step 1: Allergy Testing (Skin Prick Testing)

Allergy Testing involves a Skin Prick Test (itchy and painless procedure suitable for young children) or a blood test to determine the nature of the allergy. These allergens can be anything from house dust mites, cat or dog dander, pollen or even food such as eggs, peanuts, seafood!

Read more: How Does Skin Prick Test Work?


Step 2: Allergy Treatment (Sublingual Immunotherapy or SLIT)

Allergy Treatment then involves “priming” the body to stop reacting to the exact cause of the allergy. This treatment is also known as Sublingual Immunotherapy or SLIT. A mix of low dose allergens are created in a spray, this spray is taken once a day under the tongue for 3-5 years. Most patients see an improvement after 6 months and the best effects are usually seen after 4 years.


SLIT is currently produced for and useful for inhalant allergens only. (I.E unfortunately not useful for food allergens yet)

Studies have shown an improvement in symptoms, reduce reliance on medications and the lasting effects many years later even after treatment has stopped.

Overall this is a safe and effective treatment with no life-threatening reactions reported in over 4500 patients treated.

So if you have been nodding your head in agreement with the points I’ve shared in this article or even wonder if you have an allergy, speak to our doctors today to get your allergy questions answered once and for all!

If you wish to speak to our doctors about the above allergy testing and allergy treatment, please email us at You can also walk-in or call our Holland Village branches for Skin Prick Testing or Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) Allergy Treatment.
Other Read:

  1. How Do I Stop Sneezing? – Allergy From Cleaning
  2. How Does Skin Prick Test Work?
  3. How Do I Know I Have Allergies?
  4. Why Should I Get My Allergies Treated?
  5. Doctor’s Overview Of Allergies & How To Help You And Your Loved Ones

Tag: allergy test singapore

How Does Skin Prick Test Work?


A skin prick test is an accurate and reliable allergy test that can be used to diagnose allergies.

It is a simple and quick test that can generate results in 20 minutes.

How Does Skin Prick Test Work?

Skin prick test is usually performed on the inner forearm or upper back.
After cleaning and marking the area, tiny lancets that barely penetrate the skin surface will be used to introduce a minute amount of the allergens into the skin.
There will be no bleeding and most patients report only mild discomfort at the test area which subsides quickly.
Your skin may itch where the allergen is placed if you have a sensitivity to the particular allergen.
After 20 minutes, your skin will be observed for specific skin reactions, known as wheals.
Wheals appear as red, raised and itchy bumps that may look like mosquito bites. The bump’s size will then be measured to confirm the allergic reaction
Oral anti histamine medication should be avoided for at least 7 days prior to the test as it may affect the results.
The amount of allergens test on the skin is minimal. Hence, severe reaction to skin prick test is extremely rare.


What Are The Allergen We Test For

Skin Prick Allergy Test is available at our dedicated DTAP clinic branches (Holland Village, Novena and Orchard). 

Egg Aspergillus Fumigatus (Fungus)
Cow’s Milk Alternaria Alternata (Fungus)
Peanut Bermuda Grass (Grass)
Almond Timothy Grass ( Grass)
Wheat Cat’s Dander
Soy Dog’s Dander
Prawn Blomia Tropicalis (Mite)
Codfish D. Pteronyssinus (Mite)
Sesame D. Farinae (Mite)
Gluten American Cockroach
Squid German Cockroach
Crab Mugwart (Pollen)
Clam Ragweed (Pollen)


Skin Prick Test May Not Be Suitable For

However, skin prick test may not be suitable for those following :
1) who have had life-threatening allergic reactions to certain allergens because the test would be too risky for them.
2) severe eczema or psoriasis on the areas that will be used for a skin prick test
3) or if you are unable to stop oral anti histamine medication prior to the test.
In such cases, an allergy blood test will be a more suitable alternative.

Skin Prick Allergy Test is available at our dedicated DTAP Clinic branches (Holland Village, Novena and DUO).


Preparatory Guidelines

To obtain accurate results, it is advised to discontinue the use of antihistamines for a minimum of 7 days before the test.


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