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Allergy symptoms

Allergies are common, with around one in four people having some kind of allergy during their lives, according to Allergy UK.

Symptoms of allergies differ depending on what's triggered the allergic reaction and from person to person.

Most allergic reactions affect a specific part of the body, such as the nose, eyes or skin. For example, pollen may trigger a runny nose and sneezing, while touching certain plants may cause an allergic skin reaction. Allergies to foods or ingredients may cause more widespread reactions.

Symptoms of an allergy range from unpleasant and inconvenient to life threatening.

Allergy symptoms can be categorised as mild, moderate, or severe.

Mild allergic reactions

Mild allergic reactions can include:

  • Rash.
  • Itchy, watery eyes.
  • Congestion.

Mild reactions do not spread to other parts of the body.

Moderate allergic reactions

Moderate reactions can include symptoms that spread to other parts of the body, including:

  • Itchiness.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

Anaphylaxis is a rare, life-threatening emergency in which the body's response to the allergen is sudden and affects the whole body. It may begin with sudden itching of the eyes or face and within minutes progress to more severe symptoms, including:

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on July 22, 2016

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