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What causes an allergy?
An allergy is a reaction by the body to an irritant substance (an allergen) or combination of substances. Common forms of allergic reaction include itchy nose and eyes, rash, sneezing, fluid streaming from eyes, itchy skin or chest tightness.

Extreme reactions may include breathlessness, a rapid increase in pulse, shock and fainting. Certain allergens will cause an individual to suffer anaphylactic shock, which if not treated promptly may cause death.

What causes an allergy?

Essentially an allergic reaction is chemical in nature. Our immune system reacts to defend us aganist an irritant. Many people are born with an allergy to a substance or combination of substances. As we grow older and our exposure to differing substances is expanded we may develop further reaction to irritants. Common irritants include pet hairs, household dust mites and mould spores. Grasses and plants are powerful allergens. Certain medicines may provoke an allergic reaction also.

Can food cause a reaction?
Yes. Some people react to nuts, nut oils, shellfish and certain dairy products. As food processing becomes more complex and greater varieties of foods, additives, beverages and sauces appear in our shops the potential for an allergic reaction may be increased.

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