Hay Fever

New technique removes the cause of allergic asthma

Allergies are the commonest cause of asthma. The immune system over-reacts to harmless substances such as birch or grass pollen, for example, forming immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE). Together with the inflammatory cells ...

Mar 03, 2017
popularity101 comments 0

Surviving hay fever

Three million Australian adults – 15% of the population – struggle through spring and summer with watery eyes, running nose, itchy throat and the hallmark hay fever symptom, sneezing.

Nov 17, 2014
popularity0 comments 0

11 new genetic associations for asthma-with-hay fever

23andMe has participated in the first ever genome-wide association study of the combined asthma-with-hay fever phenotype. Led by researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, the study identified 11 independent ...

Jan 28, 2014
popularity0 comments 0

Allergic rhinitis is an allergic inflammation of the nasal airways. It occurs when an allergen, such as pollen, dust or animal dander (particles of shed skin and hair) is inhaled by an individual with a sensitized immune system. In such individuals, the allergen triggers the production of the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE), which binds to mast cells and basophils containing histamine. When caused by pollens of any plants, it is called "pollinosis", and if specifically caused by grass pollens, it is known as "hay fever". Ironically, in hay fever, there is neither any fever nor any hay, but since grasses shed their pollens into the air, at about the same time that hay is being cut, the common term hay fever is used.

IgE bound to mast cells are stimulated by pollen and dust, causing the release of inflammatory mediators such as histamine (and other chemicals). This usually causes sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages, and an increase in mucus production. Symptoms vary in severity between individuals. Very sensitive individuals can experience hives or other rashes. Particulate matter in polluted air, and chemicals such as chlorine and detergents, which can normally be tolerated, can greatly aggravate allergic rhinitis. The physician John Bostock first described hay fever in 1819 as a disease.

Allergies are common. Heredity and environmental exposures may contribute to a predisposition to allergies. It is roughly estimated that one in three people have an active allergy at any given time and at least three in four people develop an allergic reaction at least once in their lives. In Western countries between 10–25% of people annually are affected by allergic rhinitis.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Could genetics influence what we like to eat?

Have you ever wondered why you keep eating certain foods, even if you know they are not good for you? Gene variants that affect the way our brain works may be the reason, according to a new study. The new research could lead ...

When liver immune cells turn bad

A high-fat diet and obesity turn "hero" virus-fighting liver immune cells "rogue", leading to insulin resistance, a condition that often results in type 2 diabetes, according to research published today in Science Immunology.

How gut bacteria change cancer drug activity

The activity of cancer drugs changes depending on the types of microbes living in the gut, according to a UCL-led study into how nematode worms and their microbes process drugs and nutrients.