Allergy

Tips for surviving this spring's allergy season

April showers may bring the loveliness of May flowers, but, for some, the pollen that accompanies those flowers is an unwelcomed tagalong to warmer weather. Pollen, a fine yellowish powder transported from plant to plant ...

Apr 28, 2016
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'Grand vision' to regulate allergies in food

A Manchester scientist has contributed to a review of allergen analysis that aims to improve the situation for those living with food allergies – preventing food fraud and protecting consumers.

Apr 27, 2016
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Danish researchers behind vaccine breakthrough

A Danish research team from the University of Copenhagen has designed a simple technique that makes it possible to quickly and easily develop a new type of vaccines. The simple and effective technique will pave the way for ...

Apr 26, 2016
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Don't let sleep apnea take your breath away

There are some moments in life that take your breath away, but if those moments are happening while you're asleep, it might be time to see a sleep expert, according to a sleep specialist at Baylor College of Medicine.

Apr 27, 2016
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When do allergy shots become necessary?

The beauty of spring is upon us, but as lovely as it may be to look at, it can wreak havoc in your nose, throat and eyes. The higher the pollen count, the greater the misery.

Apr 12, 2016
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On the road to allergy prophylaxis

Researchers of MedUni Vienna succeeded in binding allergens to endogenous, endogenic white blood corpuscles to trigger a tolerance reaction in case of a future, possible contact with the respective allergen. The results in ...

Apr 14, 2016
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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

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