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Common Allergies and Their Symptoms

Allergies occur when someone’s immune system overreacts to something. The body views it as dangerous and tries to fight it via an allergic reaction. This can be a minor reaction like sneezing, or it can be a more serious reaction causing trouble breathing. Learn about some of the most common allergies below.

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is a reaction to allergens in the environment. This allergy can begin at two years old, and most symptoms develop before the age of 20 years. The symptoms peak at 20-40 years and then gradually decline. There are changes in immune system function with age that tend to make allergies less intense.

Symptoms include:

-excessive sneezing

-watery eyes



Asthma occurs when the airways become inflamed and cause breathing problems. People are usually prescribed rescue inhalers for use during an episode, and maintenance inhalers to prevent symptoms.

Symptoms include:



-difficulty in breathing

-chest tightness

Food Allergies

Some food allergies can be minor, but others can be fatal depending on the body’s reaction. If someone ever has trouble breathing, that is an emergency. The most common food allergens are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.

Symptoms include:



-rashes or hives

-facial swelling

Latex Allergies

If someone had a lot of surgeries as a baby, they are more likely to have a latex allergy due to the increase in encounters with latex. Most healthcare providers use vinyl or nitrile gloves now, instead of latex, but always let your healthcare provider know about your allergy.

People with latex allergies may also be allergic to apple, avocado, banana, carrot, celery, chestnut, kiwi, melons, papaya, raw potato, and tomato.

Symptoms include:


-rashes or hives

-watery eyes



Drug Allergies

The most common drug allergy is penicillin, but other medications include aspirin, anti-seizure drugs, muscle relaxants, anesthetics, and sulfa drugs. When someone’s immune system labels that medication as harmful, it develops antibodies to the drug.

Symptoms include:

-skin rashes

-breathing difficulty


-facial swelling



See a primary care provider at Away Clinic to see how we can best manage your allergies.


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