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    Aintree University Hospital
    Lower Lane
    L9 7AL

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An allergy is an adverse reaction the body has to a particular food or substance.  This can range from what we eat to irritants in the air and often everyday items which come into contact with our skin.  Allergies are very common and can affect more than one in four people in the UK.  They are particularly common in children but adults can also develop allergies, often to things they were not allergic to earlier in their lives.  

An allergy can be very disruptive to your everyday activities.   Severe reactions can occasionally occur but for many people, the symptoms remain more of a nuisance than a life threatening situation. 

Common allergens include:

  • Grass, flower and tree pollens – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  • dust mites
  • animal dander e.g. pets - dogs and cats
  • food – particularly wheat, nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cow's milk


Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually happen quickly within a few minutes and can include:

  • sneezing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • red, itchy, watery eyes  (conjunctivitis)
  • wheezing and coughing (asthma)
  • puffiness and swelling of the skin (oedema)
  • a red, itchy rash (eczema symptoms) 


The Sefton Suite
Aintree University Hospital
Lower Lane
L9 7AL
Telephone: 0151 330 6551