Allergies can cause significant discomfort due to your body having a reaction to an allergen. An allergic reaction occurs when your body responds to typically harmless substances such as pollen, dust, or animal fur. Symptoms range from mild to severe and, for certain individuals,  can cause significant health problems. Generally, allergies are a long-lasting condition that can cause discomfort throughout the year. For many allergy sufferers, medication can help manage symptoms and improve their quality of daily life. If your allergies are severe, your GP can work with you to diagnose your allergies and offer a tailored treatment plan.


What are common allergens?
Pollen allergies, known as hayfever or allergic rhinitis, occur when the immune system overreacts to pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds. It is a very common allergy that affects both children and adults. Symptoms may include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and throat irritation. These allergies are most prevalent during specific seasons when plants release pollen into the air.

Dust mite allergies are another common allergen that results from the immune system's reaction to microscopic creatures found in household dust. These tiny mites are often found in bedding, furniture and carpets. Dust mite allergies are particularly bothersome for those who spend significant time indoors.

Animal dander allergies are another common allergen caused by hypersensitivity to proteins found in the skin cells, saliva, or urine of pets including cats, dogs, or rodents. When the allergy sufferer is exposed to these proteins, they may experience sneezing, coughing, skin rashes, itchy eyes, or asthma exacerbations. Managing animal dander allergies often involves minimising contact with pets or implementing allergen-reduction strategies in the home, for example frequent hoovering.
What are common allergy symptoms?
Allergy symptoms can vary widely depending on the allergen and the individual's reaction. Common symptoms include sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, runny nose, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, hives, and swelling.

In severe cases, allergies can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and you must seek emergency medical assistance. Call 999 if you suspect someone is suffering from anaphylaxis.