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What are allergies?

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Your immune system defends your body from invaders like bacteria and viruses. But when it makes war on substances it shouldn’t, that’s an allergy. Peanuts, eggs, or pollen, for example, can trigger reactions. They're called allergens.

From: What Is an Allergic Reaction? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Allergy Facts and Figures.”

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Allergic Reactions,” “Anaphylaxis.”

University of Maryland Medical Center: “Allergic Reactions.”

Mayo Clinic: “Allergies.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Allergy Overview.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on March 21, 2018

SOURCES:

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Allergy Facts and Figures.”

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Allergic Reactions,” “Anaphylaxis.”

University of Maryland Medical Center: “Allergic Reactions.”

Mayo Clinic: “Allergies.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Allergy Overview.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on March 21, 2018

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Why do allergic reactions happen?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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