Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

NIH clinical trial of remdesivir to treat COVID-19 begins

A randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the investigational antiviral remdesivir in hospitalized adults diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun at the University ...

Health

Brisbane's grass pollen season the worst on record

Brisbane's grass pollen levels over the past two months have been up to four times higher than levels recorded anywhere in Australia since comparative records have been kept, QUT's Professor Janet Davies told a federal parliamentary ...

Medications

Co-treatments help beat peanut allergies

Desensitising children to peanut allergies through oral immunotherapy is more effective when done in conjunction with antihistamines and probiotics, South Australian researchers have found.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

First human trial of monoclonal antibody to prevent malaria opens

A Phase 1 clinical trial testing the safety and effectiveness of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against malaria has begun enrolling healthy adult volunteers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. ...

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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