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Understanding Allergies

An allergy is when your immune system reacts to something that’s normally harmless to most people. If you come into contact with a substance that your immune system views as a threat, called an allergen, it responds by releasing a chemical called histamine and other substances. The release of these substances is what causes your allergic reaction. Atopy, or having an atopic predisposition, refers to the genetic predisposition to develop allergic diseases.

Not everyone with allergies will be considered atopic, and
not everyone with atopy develops manifestations of allergic diseases.1

Allergy march >

For some, allergic reactions may be serious and in some rare instances, food or an insect sting could result in the life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis >

Types of allergies & their triggers

Anything from pollen to mold to animals to food can trigger an allergic reaction in someone who is allergic. And while some people may outgrow their existing allergies, new ones could spring up at any time.2 

Certain allergens are frequently responsible for allergic reactions and some include:

  • Animals or pets
  • Dust Mites
  • Insects
  • Mold
  • Tree Pollens
  • Grass Pollens
  • Weed Pollens
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Peanut
  • Seafood & Shellfish
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Tree Nuts
  • Meat
  • Fruit & Vegetables

Know your symptoms

Sneezing, wheezing and itching - you may think what you’re experiencing is normal. Learn about all the ways your allergies can show up and the common symptoms and triggers associated with them. Recognizing the typical signs is a step towards getting some relief. 

Learn more

Do you have questions?

You’re likely to have questions about allergies. There are so many different types & symptoms associated with them, it can be confusing and may be hard to navigate. Here are answers to some of the most common questions.

FAQs >


Sometimes the clinical terms associated with allergies can seem like a foreign language. That’s why we’ve made this easy-to-understand list of terms you may come across when researching your allergies.

View terms >

  1. Jarvis D, Burney P. The epidemiology of allergic disease. BMJ-Brit Med J. 1998;316: 607-610.
  2. Kamdar T, Peterson S, Lau C, et al. Clinical Communications: Prevalence and characteristics of adult-onset food allergy. J Aller Cl Imm-Pract. 2015;3 (1):114.