What are allergies? Find articles and information here that answer this question as well as the causes of allergies, treating allergies and what common allergy symptoms and risk factors are.

What are allergies?

Allergic persons form antibodies against substances that are harmless to most individuals, such as certain types of food and pollen. These substances are called antigens or allergens.

Allergy symptoms

Common allergic diseases include asthma, eczema, rhinitis, hives and insect allergies. Symptoms may, however, vary.

Risk factors for allergies

Risk factors for allergies include a family history of allergies, certain factors in the environment, and upper respiratory infections.

Preventing allergies

The number of different types of allergies have increased dramatically over the past few decades. What can you do to prevent them?

Causes of allergies

There are different types of triggers for different types of allergies. We take a look at the most common causes.

Diagnosing allergies

There’s no 'one-size-fits-all' list of triggers for everyone who suffers from an allergy. For this reason, tests need to be done so that your specific triggers can be identified.

Treating allergies

There's no cure for allergies. The best way to control or treat an allergy is to avoid the triggering substance.

How common are allergies?

We are becoming more allergic over time and we seem to be unable to tolerate our own environments.


Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to certain allergens. Here's how to respond.

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Allergy expert

Dr Morris is the Principal Allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics with postgraduate diplomas in Allergology, Dermatology, Paediatrics and Family Medicine dealing with both adult and childhood allergies.

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