Allergic reaction facts

Allergy facts

According to the charity Allergy UNITED KINGDOM, around 21 million adults in the united kingdom have at least one allergy, while half of children and under-18s have one or more allergies.

What are the most common allergy symptoms?

The most common allergies are to:

  • pollen
  • house dust mites
  • mould
  • wasps and bees
  • pets such as cats and dogs
  • commercial and household chemicals
  • foods like milk, nuts (mainly peanuts) and eggs

You can also be allergic to fruit, medications such as penicillin, metals such as nickel in jewellery, and rubber.


What are the main allergy symptoms?

The most common allergy symptoms are:

  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • itching eyes
  • wheezing
  • coughing
  • itchy epidermis rashes (dermatitis)

The type of symptoms you experience depends upon what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it. For example , you might have difficulty breathing if you inhale pollen, or develop dermatitis if you apply a lotion containing a chemical you’re hypersensitive to, or nausea and vomiting if you eat a food that you’re hypersensitive to.


What are hypersensitive illnesses?

Some hypersensitive symptoms are conditions in themselves.

  • Hay fever is a runny nose, sneezing, blocked nose and itching eyes caused by contact with pollen.
  • Eczema is itchy inflammation of the skin that is often linked to allergy. An eczema flare-up can be triggered by foods, home dust mites, pollen or dog hair.
  • Asthma is a type of breathing problem that can be triggered by allergens like pets, house dust mite droppings in dust, pollens and adjusts.
  • Allergic rhinitis is similar to hay temperature but occurs all year round.
  • Urticaria is a red, itchy, bumpy rash that can occur as part of an allergic reaction, by way of example to foods, drugs and insect stings.
  • Allergic eye disease is also known as hypersensitive conjunctivitis, and is where the eyes become itchy and red after contact with an allergen such as pollen or pet hair.


Can allergy be inherited?

Some individuals are more likely to develop an allergy since it runs in their family. If this could be the case, you’re said to be atopic or have atopy. Boys are more likely to develop an inherited allergy than girls, as are infants who have a low birth weight.


Is an allergic reaction harmful?

Allergic reactions can be slight, moderate or severe. In some cases they could be life threatening. This is known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and needs prompt treatment.

Read what to do if you or somebody has an allergic reaction.

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