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Allergies can appear when you least expect them to, which can make it tricky if you need to get medication.

Get tailored help for your allergy from our expert clinicians. They can help you order allergy treatment online so that you can be prepared and ready.

Here’s what's included in the price:
Answer a few questions about your health so we can get to know you better.
Free 24h delivery
Your treatment delivered in secure packaging, the very next day.
We’ll check in with you regularly to see how your treatment is going.
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
Allergies: Here's what we have.
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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.

What are allergies?

Allergies are an overreaction by your body to a specific trigger that doesn’t cause the same reaction in other people. Your body produces an immune response to something that it wrongly views as a threat. This shows as a reaction in your skin, sinuses, digestive system or your airways (or a combination of these).

The severity of allergies can vary from person to person. For some people, an allergic reaction can be a relatively mild reaction, but others can experience anaphylaxis, which is a potentially life-threatening situation. Allergies can appear at any time in your life, even if you haven’t previously experienced them.

Some of the most common allergies include: food allergies, dermatological allergies (when your skin comes into contact with something that causes a reaction), grass and tree pollen (also known as hay fever), animal hair, mould, latex, dust mites, medicines, household chemicals and insect bites.

Who gets allergies?

Allergic reactions can happen to anyone at any time. It’s thought that they can be hereditary and if you have parents who also experience allergies you may also experience them too. You can also be allergic to more than one thing – even things that are seemingly completely unrelated.

Allergies are most common in children and they can fade in severity as you get older, though they don’t always fade in this way. However, sometimes the opposite can happen and you can develop new allergies in adulthood, even if you’ve never previously experienced a reaction to something before. 

How common are allergies?

Allergies are really common. It’s estimated that there are millions of people around the world who are affected by allergies at some point in their lives with as much as 40% of the global population showing sensitivity to factors in their environment.

More and more people are suffering from allergies each year, particularly food allergies. Where you live and your lifestyle can have an effect on your allergies, especially if you have certain types of environmental or food-based allergies.

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Medically reviewed by
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
on August 02, 2022.
Meet Daniel  
This page was medically reviewed by Dr Daniel Atkinson, GP Clinical Lead on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

How we source info.

When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

What causes allergies?

The exact reasons why we experience allergic reactions are relatively unknown, especially the reasons for being allergic to some things but not others. Our environment plays a part in the cause of these allergic reactions, as do our genetics.

One theory is that a lack of exposure to germs at a young age can stop the immune system from working properly. This means that it perceives certain things in your environment as a threat and overreacts with an immune response. It’s even thought that the size of your family can have an impact, as larger families have more exposure to different types of bacteria.

When you experience an allergic reaction, it’s your body’s reaction to something in the environment that it decides is a threat. Your white blood cells react to protect your body and release histamines, which is what causes the visible symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as inflammation and swelling.

What are the symptoms of allergies?

There are some common symptoms of an allergic reaction. These can vary from person to person, and you might experience some of them or all of them during an allergic reaction. Common allergy symptoms include:

  • skin reactions such as dry, red and cracked skin, or an itchy rash that may be raised or appear red
  • sneezing, coughing or wheezing
  • a tight chest or shortness of breath
  • swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes or other parts of the body
  • sickness, diarrhoea or nausea

The symptoms of an allergic reaction will depend on how you have come into contact with an allergen and whether or not you’ve ingested, inhaled or touched whatever’s triggered your allergy. Symptoms will also vary in severity from person to person and can even be different each time your body reacts.

Can allergies lead to other problems?

Most allergy reactions are pretty mild and don’t cause any other health problems. But they can be frustrating and uncomfortable to deal with. If you haven’t experienced an allergic reaction before it can feel overwhelming or unexpected.

Some allergic reactions can be really serious. A severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. It’s where the body seriously overreacts to an allergen by causing breathing difficulties, wheezing, feeling lightheaded, a fast heartbeat, clammy skin, confusion and even collapsing or becoming unconscious, as well as other symptoms.

If you experience these symptoms, you should call an ambulance immediately, and whatever’s causing the reaction should be avoided. If this has happened previously, a person may carry an emergency adrenaline auto-injector pen (also known as an EpiPen) with them to help deal with symptoms. Anaphylaxis is a serious medical emergency.

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What medications are there for allergies?

Whilst there isn’t a ‘cure’ for allergies, they can be treated. The treatment you use depends on the type of allergy that you have, and helps you relieve and reduce the symptoms you experience during an allergic reaction. Some medications prevent your body from reacting to allergens in your environment.

For pollen and grass allergies, eye drops, nasal sprays and antihistamine tablets are often used to prevent the allergic reaction from developing. Antihistamine tablets can be used to treat a wide range of allergies and reactions.

Emergency adrenaline pens should only be used to treat anaphylactic shock and shouldn’t be used for milder allergic reactions, as they aren’t safe for general use.

Is there a ‘best’ treatment for allergies?

The right treatment for your allergy depends on the nature of your allergic reaction and your own personal preference. Your lifestyle may also make it easier to use some forms of allergy treatment than others. 

When you speak to our clinicians, talk to them about your health and lifestyle so that they can advise you on a range of suitable treatments that will fit into your daily life.

Do allergies always need treatment?

You can help to tackle allergies if you recognise your triggers and then avoid them. Sometimes this isn’t very easy, especially if you’re allergic to something like grass pollen, so in this case treatment will help you to minimise the discomfort you experience as a result of your allergy. This means that you can continue to enjoy your life without your allergy having a negative impact on it.

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FAQ: Allergies

Have something specific you want to know? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

How are allergies diagnosed?

A mild allergy can usually be diagnosed easily following a simple chat with a clinician. They’ll ask you about your symptoms, any triggers and any other allergies that you already know about.

Are there different types of allergies?

There are different types of allergies and different triggers. The most common types of allergies are skin allergies, food allergies and respiratory allergies. Some allergies have common triggers, including:

  • skin allergies - common triggers include latex and household cleaning products

  • food allergies - common triggers include peanuts, eggs and fish

  • respiratory allergies - common triggers include animal hair, mould, dust mites and pollen

Are there tests for allergies?

Allergy tests are only usually needed for severe allergies, or when it’s difficult to work out what’s causing a particular allergy. These tests should be interpreted by a trained clinician who knows what they’re looking for. At-home allergy tests aren’t usually considered accurate or reliable.

Some of the common types of allergy tests used by clinicians are:

  • blood tests - these are used to help diagnose common allergies and involve taking a blood sample which is then analysed.

  • skin prick testing - if you suspect you might be allergic to something specific, a drop of liquid that contains the potential allergen is placed onto your skin and then your skin is pricked

  • patch tests - usually used for skin allergies (such as contact dermatitis), a patch is taped to your skin that contains the suspected allergen to check for reactions

  • elimination diet - this is used for suspected food allergies and involves avoiding a food that is thought to be the cause of your allergy before reintroducing it under the careful supervision of a clinician

  • challenge testing - this is used for food allergies and tests how you react to the suspected cause of your allergy by giving you the food you think you’re allergic to in gradually increasing amounts

Allergy testing should always be carried out under the supervision of a clinician who can advise on best practice, the most appropriate testing and who can monitor the results. This avoids misinterpretation of results that could lead to allergic reactions worsening or confusion around what is causing your allergic reaction.

Can you get side effects from allergy treatment?

Different types of allergy treatments come with different side effects. The most suitable one depends on the type of allergy you have, the symptoms you experience and what you do in your daily life.

Certain antihistamines can make you feel drowsy, so these aren’t recommended if you need to drive or you have a job where drowsiness can be dangerous, such as operating heavy machinery. Nasal sprays may cause headaches, nosebleeds or a stinging feeling in your nose. You can also sometimes taste the medication, which isn’t always pleasant. Eye drops can cause a burning or stinging sensation in the eyes. For anaphylaxis, an adrenaline pen (such as an EpiPen) can cause dizziness, sweating and headaches.

Our product pages for each of these allergy treatments contain more specific information on all aspects of each individual treatment, including potential side effects and the types of allergy they’re best suited to treat.

Always discuss any concerns or lifestyle issues with your clinician, as they can advise you on the most appropriate treatment for your allergy that takes your lifestyle into account. You need the right treatment to help you to feel better and to stop your allergy interfering with your day-to-day life.

Do allergy treatments always work?

The effectiveness of allergy treatments depends on you and your body. There are a variety of different factors that can have an impact on whether or not your allergy treatment is the right one to relieve your symptoms or prevent allergic reactions.

If you feel that the allergy treatment you’re using isn’t working the way that you would like it to, then let us know. Our clinicians can advise you on alternative options that might work better for you.

Why should I buy allergy treatment online with Treated?

At Treated, we can deliver the right allergy treatments for you when you need them. We’ll take the time to listen to your experiences and concerns about your allergies, explaining our recommendations really clearly and the reasons why we recommend a product for your particular circumstances. Our clinicians will advise you on which treatments are safe, suitable and right for you.

You choose the treatment that you’d like to use and set up your subscription so that your allergy treatments are ready for you with minimal fuss. You can change, pause or cancel your subscription at any time.

Our clinicians are always available to answer any questions about your treatment too. If you have any concerns, just sign in to your account and send them a message. They’ll check in with you regularly to ensure that your medication is right for you.
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Our average rating based on 3270 reviews.