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Allergies are becoming more frequent in the western world. Al Fed/Flickr

What are allergies and why are we getting more of them?

Allergies are reactions caused by the immune system as it responds to environmental substances that are usually harmless. But we don't yet have a cure or the ability to prevent them from developing.
Ouch. PROKris Fricke/Flickr

America’s most lethal animal

Animal attacks have been in the news a lot. Late last year, a 22-year-old student in New Jersey was killed by a black bear he had been photographing. This summer, swimmers off the coast of North Carolina…
Avoiding peanuts is currently the only way to prevent allergic reactions. sharyn morrow/Flickr

Peanut allergy treatment is on the horizon – but don’t drop the EpiPen yet

Rates of food allergies have increased over recent decades and are at an all-time high. While we don’t know the full extent of the allergy epidemic, the rate of hospitalisation for food allergies has quadrupled…
Climate change could make your hay fever much worse, thanks to three times more pollen allergens in the air. Serhiy Kobyakov/Shutterstock

Future hay fever seasons will be worse thanks to climate change

It’s now late spring, with summer just around the corner, and many people with hay fever suffer at this time of year in Australia. Although the cause of this suffering is invisible to us, it is actually…
Antihistamines are the first-line treatment for those with mild or occasional hay fever. Tina Franklin/Flickr

Hay fever survival guide: why you have it and how to treat it

Three million Australian adults – 15% of the population – struggle through spring and summer with watery eyes, running nose, itchy throat and the hallmark hay fever symptom, sneezing. When people with…
Allergic reactions to food have dramatically increased over the past 10 to 20 years. Dan Peled/AAP

Changes to bugs in the gut could prevent food allergies

Changing the bacteria in the gut could treat and prevent life-threatening allergies, according to research published in the…
Not nuts about nuts? Neither is your bank account. Macinate

Food allergies cost families more than peanuts

Across Europe and the US, the cost of treating food allergies is incredibly high. The reasons remain unclear but rates of food allergies in the UK have risen sharply in the past 20 years and hospital admissions…
Precautionary labels are present on more than half of all packaged processed foods in Australian supermarkets. Bruce A Stockwell

Confused parents ignore precautionary food allergy labels

Parents of children with a history of the potentially life-threatening allergic reaction anaphylaxis often ignore precautionary…
Unless you’re allergic to cow’s milk, dairy products are unlikely to cause or exacerbate asthma. Image from

Monday’s medical myth: dairy products exacerbate asthma

Dairy products are good for the bones, so we’re encouraged to have regular serves of (reduced-fat) milk cheese and yogurt. But can they make asthma and allergies worse? Asthma is a respiratory condition…
There is no evidence to support the claim that eating peanuts or peanut butter during pregnancy will make your child allergic to peanuts. Image from

Monday’s medical myth: peanuts in pregnancy cause allergies

Anyone else have the feeling something radical has happened with peanut allergy in the past 30 years? I don’t recall knowing anyone allergic to peanuts or peanut butter as a child in the 1980s, yet today…
Early exposure to siblings and dogs may help to train the developing immune system. Flickr/henry...

Infants with siblings and pets less likely to develop allergies

Having older siblings and a dog that lives in the home could reduce the likelihood of infants developing egg allergies, according to a new study published in the latest edition of the journal Allergy…
There are numerous allergic causes of hayfever symptoms in cities, including grasses in local parks. Mislav Marohnić

Plane trees getting on your nose? The truth about hay fever

Spring brings with it hay fever and red eyes for many inner-city residents and in absence of fields of flowering grasses, people turn their attention to other possible causes. The most suspicious candidate…

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