Allergy

Phase I HIV vaccine trial to begin

A Phase I clinical trial testing the safety of vaccines that might have the potential to prevent HIV infection will begin this month at four sites in the United States, marking the latest step in a three-decade quest at UMass ...

Mar 28, 2018
popularity18 comments 0

Western diet depletes artery-protecting immune cells

New research from scientists at the La Jolla Institute For Allergy and Immunology shows how a diet high in fat and cholesterol depletes the ranks of artery-protecting immune cells, turning them into promoters of inflammation, ...

Mar 21, 2018
popularity1296 comments 0

Debunking common vitamin D myths

You may have heard every vitamin D myth under the sun—so many, in fact, that you might be at the point of throwing your hands up in the air in frustration. Why can't there be a simple answer?

Mar 20, 2018
popularity23 comments 1

How allergens trigger asthma attacks

A team of Inserm and CNRS researchers from the Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology have identified a protein that acts like a sensor detecting allergens in the respiratory tract that are responsible for asthma ...

Mar 19, 2018
popularity11 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

Study examines the rise of plaque in arteries

The accumulation of cholesterol plaques in artery walls can lead to atherosclerosis, or the hardening of arteries that contributes to heart attacks and strokes. In a new study, Yale researchers investigate how plaque cells ...

Research could help fine-tune cancer treatment

Cancer therapies that cut off blood supply to a tumour could be more effective in combination with existing chemotherapeutic drugs—according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Aggression neurons identified

High activity in a relatively poorly studied group of brain cells can be linked to aggressive behaviour in mice, a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows. Using optogenetic techniques, the researchers were able ...