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An allergy is a condition in which the body's defense system (immune system) comes in contact with an allergen and reacts to it. An allergen is anything that causes an allergic reaction. Allergens cause the immune system to make proteins for fighting infections (antibodies). These antibodies cause cells to release chemicals called histamines that set off the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Allergies often affect the nasal passages (allergic rhinitis), eyes (allergic conjunctivitis), skin (atopic dermatitis), and stomach. Allergies can be mild, moderate, or severe. They cannot spread from person to person. Allergies can develop at any age and may be outgrown.
Symptoms of this condition depend on the severity of the allergy.
Mild to moderate symptoms
Eating and drinking
These symptoms may represent a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.).
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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