An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction by the immune system to a normally harmless substance, such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, food, or medications.

When a person with an allergy comes into contact with an allergen, their immune system overreacts, causing symptoms such as sneezing, itching, skin rashes, hives, runny nose, and watery eyes. In some severe cases, allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that can cause breathing difficulties and low blood pressure.

Allergies can be diagnosed through skin tests, blood tests, or elimination diets and treated with medications, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids, or with immunotherapy. It’s important for individuals with allergies to identify and avoid their triggers to prevent symptoms and minimise the risk of a severe reaction.

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