Allergy

Maybe it's time to get in the game

(HealthDay)—Team sports aren't just for kids. They offer adults a wealth of benefits, including a greater feeling of well-being, reduced stress and a strong sense of community.

Aug 17, 2018
popularity2 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

Probiotics increase bone volume in healthy mice

A widely-used probiotic stimulates bone formation in young female mice, according to a study published November 13th in the journal Immunity. In response to treatment with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), other intestinal ...

Pancreatic cancer's addiction could be its end

Cancer cells are often described as cells "gone bad" or "renegade." New research reveals that in some of the deadliest cases of pancreatic cancer, these rebellious cells have an unexpected addiction. Now, scientists are investigating ...

Immunity connects gut bacteria and aging

Over the years, researchers have learned that the different populations of bacteria that inhabit the gut have significant effects on body functions, including the immune system. The populations of gut bacteria are sometimes ...

The illusion of multitasking boosts performance

Our ability to do things well suffers when we try to complete several tasks at once, but a series of experiments suggests that merely believing that we're multitasking may boost our performance by making us more engaged in ...