Allergy

New allergy tablets offer alternative to shots

For decades, seasonal allergy sufferers had two therapy options to ease the misery of hay fever. They could swallow pills or squirt nasal sprays every day for brief reprieves from the sneezing and itchy eyes. Or they could ...

Jun 02, 2014
popularity0 comments 0

Five things to know about seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies are one of the most common medical problems in America, with around 20 percent of people affected. That means that if you do not personally have allergies, chances are a close relative or friend of yours ...

May 01, 2014
popularity0 comments 0

Educating the immune system to prevent allergies

With the arrival of spring, millions of Canadians have begun their annual ritual of sneezing and wheezing due to seasonal allergies. A research team at the Montreal Children's Hospital from the Research Institute of the McGill ...

May 14, 2015
popularity75 comments 1

Has food allergy incidence risen in Australia?

(Medical Xpress)—In light of Food Allergy Week, Dr Robert Loblay, Sydney Medical School Immunologist and Director of the Allergy Unit at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, has said that the incidence of food allergy has increased ...

May 13, 2014
popularity0 comments 0

Modified proteins as vaccines against peach allergy

A research conducted by the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (UPM-INIA) and led by Araceli Díaz Perales has studied the allergy to peach, the most common food allergy, and the Pru p 3 protein. As a result of this ...

Jan 20, 2014
popularity0 comments 0

An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person's immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is formally called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. Allergic reactions are distinctive because of excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). This reaction results in an inflammatory response which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous.

Mild allergies like hay fever are very common in the human population and cause symptoms such as red eyes, itchiness, and runny nose, eczema, hives, hay fever, or an asthma attack. Allergies can play a major role in conditions such as asthma. In some people, severe allergies to environmental or dietary allergens or to medication may result in life-threatening reactions called anaphylaxis. Food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees are often associated with these severe reactions.

A variety of tests exist to diagnose allergic conditions. These include placing possible allergens on the skin and looking for a reaction such as swelling. Blood tests can also be done to look for an allergen-specific IgE.

Treatments for allergies include avoiding known allergens, use of medications such as anti-histamines that specifically prevent allergic reactions, steroids that modify the immune system in general, and medications such as decongestants that reduce the symptoms. Many of these medications are taken by mouth, though epinephrine, which is used to treat anaphylactic reactions, is injected. Immunotherapy uses injected allergens to desensitize the body's response.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Memory replay prioritizes high-reward memories

Why do we remember some events, places and things, but not others? Our brains prioritize rewarding memories over others, and reinforce them by replaying them when we are at rest, according to new research from the University ...