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An allergy is our immune system’s response to a normally harmless substance (allergen).

For most of us, allergens like pollen, dust mites or certain foods cause no problems. But if you are allergic, your body will identify the substance as a threat. This creates a range of allergy symptoms from mild itching to much more serious anaphylaxis, that can be fatal without treatment.

44% of adults in the UK now suffer from at least one allergy. Pensioners are the least likely age group to have an allergy at just 30%, while women and young adults (under 35) are the most likely, at 50%.

The first step to managing an allergy is finding the cause – and this is something a GP can help you with.


Allergies are common and can be mild or very serious.
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Hay fever
Hay fever affects many people in the spring and summertime.
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