Allergy

FDA study finds little evidence of antibiotics in milk

In an encouraging development for consumers worried about antibiotics in their milk, a new Food and Drug Administration study showed little evidence of drug contamination after surveying almost 2,000 dairy ...

19 hours ago
popularity 5 / 5 (1) | comments 0

US must respond to global health outbreaks, say bioethicists

Last summer, West Africa fell into the grip of a deadly outbreak of Ebola that has thus far taken the lives of more than 9,500 people. The fear swept up by the epidemic quickly jumped across the Atlantic and landed in the ...

Mar 05, 2015
popularity not rated yet | comments 0

Marijuana: The allergen you never knew existed

Growing up, you may have been given reasons for not smoking marijuana. What you may not have heard is that marijuana, like other pollen-bearing plants, is an allergen which can cause allergic responses.

Mar 03, 2015
popularity 2.3 / 5 (4) | 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

Research suggests brain's melatonin may trigger sleep

If you walk into your local drug store and ask for a supplement to help you sleep, you might be directed to a bottle labeled "melatonin." The hormone supplement's use as a sleep aid is supported by anecdotal ...

Popular antioxidant likely ineffective, study finds

The popular dietary supplement ubiquinone, also known as Coenzyme Q10, is widely believed to function as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage from free radicals. But a new study by scientists at McGill University ...

New understanding of stroke damage may aid recovery

Stroke can lead to a wide range of problems such as depression and difficulty moving, speaking and paying attention. Scientists have thought these issues were caused by damage to the brain's "computer processors"—cells ...

Autism detection improved by multimodal neuroimaging

In an ancient Indian parable, a group of blind men touches different parts of a large animal to find what it is. Only when they share the descriptions of an ear, tail, trunk and leg do they know it is an ...

New findings on 'key players' in brain inflammation

Inflammation is the immune system's natural reaction to an 'aggressor' in the body or an injury, but if the inflammatory response is too strong it becomes harmful. For example, inflammation in the brain occurs ...

Moderate alcohol consumption increases attractiveness

Consuming alcohol (equivalent to about a glass of wine) can make the drinker appear more attractive than when sober, according to new research from the University of Bristol. However, the effect disappears ...