Why allergies are a problem not to be sniffed at

Allergies such as hayfever can be a real pain.
Allergies such as hayfever can be a real pain.

From peanuts to pollen and dairy to dust mites, I see lots of people concerned about an allergy, particularly when it comes to children.

Many people are allergic to things found in households everywhere, such as mould, animals and chemicals, including detergents and hair dyes.

Some people are allergic to medications such as penicillin antibiotics.

Most allergic reactions are relatively mild but occasionally someone will react so severely to an allergen that anaphylactic shock can happen.

Once diagnosed, the most effective way to manage an allergy is to avoid the allergens that cause it.

This isn’t always easy, though it is often possible to manage allergies.

If you or your child have a food allergy, you need to be careful with the meals you prepare.

Always read labels.

Keep animal allergies under control by washing pets regularly.

Keep your home damp-free and well ventilated to help manage mould allergies.

Remaining indoors when the pollen count is high will help minimise hay fever, and replacing carpets with hard flooring can help with dust mite allergies.

If you think you or your child has an allergy, outline the symptoms to your doctor – keep a diary of when and how often they happen, and what seems to trigger them.

Where there is a severe allergic reaction and the cause is not obvious, your doctor will discuss referring you for allergy testing.

These tests can include skin prick testing and blood tests.

Allergies such as hay fever can have a real impact, but there are plenty of treatment options.

It is easier to treat mild allergies that have a clear cause and many medicines, such as antihistamines, are available over the counter, but when symptoms are more troublesome, talk to your GP.