Fish intake may protect children from allergies

Eating oily fish while pregnant or breastfeeding may protect your child from allergies. Likewise, kids who eat fish, eggs and flour early in life have less allergies, according to new findings from the division of Food and ...

5 hours ago
popularity0 comments 0

New approach tests the strength of immunity

The immune system orchestrates large and small scale attacks on innumerous targets: viruses, bacteria, cancer, but it also misfires causing allergy or autoimmune reactions. Compounding the problem, not every immune reaction ...

Oct 27, 2016
popularity25 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

New trials offer hope for TB treatment

Researchers at the University of St Andrews are one step closer to finding a shorter, more effective treatment for TB, according to a new paper published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Lactate measurement improves treatment during labour

Labour dystocia, or the failure of the uterus to contract properly during labour, is a serious problem in obstetrics. A new study from Karolinska Institutet demonstrates a simple method that can make it easier for doctors ...