Prevention

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the substance that you're allergic to, although this is not always easy or practical.

Below is some practical advice that should help you avoid the most common allergens.

One of the biggest causes of allergies are dust mites, which are tiny insects found in household dust.

You can limit the number of mites in your home by: 

Concentrate your efforts of controlling dust mites in the areas of your home where you spend the most time, such as the bedroom and living room.

You can find more information on allergies in the home on the Allergy UK website.

It's not pet fur that causes an allergic reaction. Instead, it's flakes of their dead skin, saliva and dried urine.

If you cannot permanently remove a pet from the house, you could try: 

If you're visiting a friend or relative with a pet, ask them not to dust or vacuum on the day you're visiting, as this will stir up the allergens into the air.

Taking an antihistamine medicine about an hour before entering a pet-inhabited house can also help reduce your symptoms.

The Allergy UK website has more information about domestic pet allergies.

Tiny particles released by moulds can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

You can help prevent this by:

By law, food manufacturers must clearly label any foods that contain something that's known to cause allergic reactions in some people.

By carefully checking the label for the list of ingredients, you should be able to avoid an allergic reaction.

People with food allergies most often experience an allergic reaction while eating out at a restaurant.

You can avoid this by:

Remember, simple dishes are less likely to contain "hidden" ingredients. If you're not sure about a dish, do not risk it.

Read more about living with a food allergy and get advice from the Food Standards Agency on food allergen labelling.

Pollen allergies, more commonly known as hay fever, are caused when trees and grasses release pollen into the air.

Doctors often call hay fever allergic rhinitis. 

Different plants pollinate at different times of the year, so the months you get hay fever will depend on what sort of pollen you're allergic to.

Typically, people are affected during spring (trees) and summer (grasses).

To help keep your hay fever under control, you can:

Find out how to prevent hay fever

If you have ever suffered a bad reaction to an insect bite or sting, it's important to take precautions to minimise your risk.

When you're outdoors, particularly in the summer, you could:

Find out how to prevent insect bites and stings

If you're at risk of experiencing a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), make sure you carry 2 adrenaline auto-injectors with you everywhere.

Wearing a MedicAlert or Medi-Tag medallion or bracelet can make others aware of your allergy in an emergency.

Consider telling your teachers, work colleagues and friends so they can give you your adrenaline injection in an emergency while waiting for an ambulance.

Find out how to prevent anaphylaxis