FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

May I visit your practice directly or do I need a doctor’s referral?
Patients whose health insurance includes the free choice of doctors may make an appointment without a doctor’s referral.

What should I do if I am not sure if my problem is one which you evaluate and treat?
Give us a call and ask directly. Email enquiries cannot substitute for a personal consultation and examination.

How can I tell if my symptoms actually are signs from an allergy?
Whereas certain symptoms are typical for an allergy (e.g. hives, swollen eyelids and lips), other symptoms are non-specific (blocked nose, coughing, itching or nausea). Ask your family doctor if allergy testing is indicated in your case or give us a call. Email enquiries cannot substitute for a personal consultation and examination.

Which medications must be discontinued prior to an allergy evaluation?
For skin tests, antihistamines must be discontinued five days prior to the examination. They block not only the allergy, but also the skin reaction to the tests. If you suffer from heavy allergic problems, continue to take the medications. The skin tests can be replaced by blood tests or can be done at a later point of time. All other medications may be taken as usual prior to an allergy evaluation.

At what age can an allergy evaluation be done on children?
If infants are suffering from a questionable allergy – usually one would consider food allergies – an allergy evaluation can already be done at that age.

In children with allergies complaints can often be ambiguous such as a blocked nose, coughing or itching. Even so, the children’s life quality can be reduced: coughing as a sign of asthma prevents participation in physical activities, itching disturbs sleep and the refusal of certain foods can result in dinner table struggles.

An allergy evaluation can help both the parents and the children to understand the complaints. Furthermore exact measures can be taken to reduce exposure to allergens resulting in positive changes to the course of the disease.

Is an allergy test painful or dangerous?
In allergy tests, a drop of allergen solution is placed on the skin and the skin is scratched without bleeding with a lancet on that spot. This can be felt, but it is not painful. If the patient reacts to the allergen, the pricked spot will have a reaction like that of a mosquito bite. The test can be read after 15 minutes and the local reaction swiftly subsides.

Who can benefit from an allergy evaluation?
If you are suffering from a potentially dangerous allergy, then the purpose would be to identify the allergen which is dangerous for you and to find an alternative. You will be given advice accordingly and also instructed in the use of emergency medication. In addition an allergy pass will be issued.

If you suffer from an allergy which is not dangerous but annoying, the purpose would be to recognize the triggering allergen. The allergen can then be avoided and any necessary therapy can be done with greater precision. In this manner, the use of medications can be reduced and life quality can be improved. Futhermore an early intervention might help to prevent the progression of the allergy.

How time-consuming is an allergy evaluation?
An allergy evaluation always consists of a personal consultation followed by skin tests, blood tests or a lung function test depending on the kind of allergy. These examinations can be carried out in a single consultation. Should more tests be necessary, further appointments will be arranged.


Markus Reimers MD
spez. Hals- und Gesichtschirurgie
Spitalgasse 4
CH - 3011 Bern

Telephone +41 31 312 15 45
Fax +41 31 312 90 15

Andrea Reimers MD
FMH Allergologie und klinische Immunologie
FMH Innere Medizin
Spitalgasse 4
CH - 3011 Bern

Telephone +41 31 312 15 45
Fax +41 31 312 90 15

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