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An allergy is an adverse reaction that the body has to a particular food or substance in the environment.
Symptoms of allergies
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes and shortness of breath.
Causes of allergies
An allergy develops when the body’s immune system reacts to an allergen as though it is harmful, like it would an infection. It produces a type of antibody
Diagnosing an allergy
If you think you have an allergy, tell your GP about the symptoms you are having, when they happen, how often they occur and if anything seems to trigger them.
Treating allergies
Treatment for an allergy depends on which allergen is causing the reaction.
Preventing allergies
The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen that causes it. For example, keeping doors and windows shut, and not allowing pets in your bedroom.
'Be vigilant in restaurants and other social functions'
Sheila Coovrey, aged 69 from Bedfordshire, has lived with a fish allergy for most of her life. “Every time I had fish as a young child, I would always vomit.
'I felt like I had a permanent cold'
Melissa Murphy, from Bedfordshire, discovered she had perennial allergic rhinitis nine years ago.
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your Allergies treatment and what the next steps might be.