Allergy

Tick-borne meat sensitivity linked to heart disease

University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have linked sensitivity to an allergen in red meat—a sensitivity spread by tick bites—with a buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries of the heart. This buildup may ...

Jun 15, 2018
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A mobile application for diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disorder affecting millions of individuals worldwide. European scientists plan to improve patients' lifelong adherence to treatment through a mobile application.

Jun 19, 2018
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Chip identifies rhinoviruses as cause of asthma

MedUni Vienna has developed a method that can be used to identify individual rhinovirus strains ("cold viruses") as a cause of asthma. A "chip" is used to clearly identify certain virus strains by means of a blood test in ...

Jun 18, 2018
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Preventing hearing damage during summer activities

For many, summer means the sweet sounds of live concerts, fireworks, lawnmowers and splashing water. To optimize the fun summer sounds, here are some preventative measures to protect your hearing during these outdoor activities.

Jun 15, 2018
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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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