What is Allergy?

Allergies are your body’s reaction to a foreign protein. Allergy occurs when a person reacts to substances in the environment that are harmless to most people. These substances are known as allergens. Usually, these proteins (allergens) are harmless. However, if you have an allergy to a particular protein, your body’s defense system (immune system) overreacts to its presence in your body.

Allergies are very common. Allergies can affect anyone. Allergies develop when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance or protein. Allergies aren’t contagious. You can’t spread your allergies to another person.

Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, refer to a number of conditions caused by the hypersensitivity of the immune system to typically harmless substances in the environment. These diseases include hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma, and anaphylaxis.

Level A2/B1

What may people be allergic to?

People may be allergic to:

  • pollen
  • dust mites
  • certain medicines
  • animals with fur
  • some foods (milk, eggs, cereals containing gluten (such as wheat, barley and oats), soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, crabs, lobsters, prawns, fish)
  • molds
  • stinging insects (bees, wasps, hornets, fire ants, yellow jackets)

What are allergy symptoms?

Allergy symptoms are:

  • itching
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • suffy nose
  • headache
  • red or watery eyes
  • hives or rash
  • shortness of breath (trouble breathing)
  • swelling

How do people deal with their allergies?


  • use eye drops
  • go to allergist
  • get shots
  • take medicines (antihistamines)
  • use nasal spray
  • avoid the things they are allergic to

The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid allergens.

Do the Tasks

Task 1. Complete the sentences with the words given below. One word is extra.

dander    suffer    allergies    pollen    severe    allergic

  1. Nowadays a lot of people are diagnosed with __________________.
  2. Allergy that can even kill a person is called ______________ allergy.
  3. In spring and summer when all trees and flowers are in blossom, their _____________ can cause allergy.
  4. Some people are _______________ to different food.
  5. My cousin is allergic to animal _______________.

Task 2.  Put the words in the correct order to make up the questions and answer them.

  1. from/ suffer/ you/ allergy/ Do?
  2. your/ deal/ relatives/ allergies/ Do/ with?
  3. allergic/ are/ What/ to/ they?
  4. year/ time/ bad/ do/ of/ What/ allergies/get/ the/ their?
  5. do/ carry/ with/ on/ What/ routine/ to/ they/ their/ daily/ do?

Task 3. Look at the doctor’s prescription and complete the dialogue.

Patient: Denis Johnson
Diagnosis: allergy
Medicine: nasal spray
To be taken: four times a day
Medicine: pills
To be taken: three times a day after meals

Mother: Has the doctor visited you today, Den?
Den: He has left a prescription.
M: And what is the diagnosis?
D: _______________________________________________________________________________________
M: Has the doctor prescribed you any medicines?
D: _______________________________________________________________________________________
M: How often do you have to use the nasal spray?
D: _______________________________________________________________________________________
M: And how often do you have to take pills?
M: Well, follow the doctor’s advice and you’ll be fine soon.

Word List

  • allergy – алергія
  • have an allergy – мати алергію
  • be allergic to – мати алергію на
  • allergen –  алерген
  • immune system – імунна система
  • contagious – заразний
  • pollen – пилок
  • dust mites – пилові кліщі
  • mold – цвіль
  • stinging insects – жалючі комахи
  • itching – свербіж
  • hives – кропивниця
  • rash – висип
  • shortness of breath (trouble breathing) – задишка (утруднене дихання)
  • swelling – набряк

Source: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8610-allergies