Arthritis & Rheumatism

Most common allergies not linked to rheumatoid arthritis

Most common allergies are not associated with the risk for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but some allergic conditions, including animal dander allergy and atopic dermatitis, are associated with increased RA risk, according to ...

Immunology

New research on dust mites and respiratory infections

When asthmatics' respiratory tracts are exposed to dust mites, their immune response becomes less effective, which can lead to a weaker immune system. People who suffer from asthma associated with infection may therefore ...

Immunology

'Bad guy' blood cells vital to gut health found

A Monash University collaboration has found that eosinophils, a type of white blood cell commonly associated with asthma and allergy, play an important role in maintaining a healthy gut.

Immunology

Targeted micronutrition ameliorates allergy symptoms

Micronutrient deficiencies can promote inflammation and render the immune system particularly sensitive to allergenic substances. In particular, iron deficiency signals danger to immune cells and leads to a more pronounced, ...

Medications

Tips on dealing with seasonal allergies

Colorful flowers and delicate blossoms on trees are not the only sign that spring has truly arrived. For many, allergies are a sign the seasons have changed. Up to one in four Canadians suffer from allergic rhinitis and its ...

page 1 from 40

Allergy

Allergy is a disorder of the immune system often also referred to as atopy. Allergic reactions occur to normally harmless environmental substances known as allergens; these reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Strictly, allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. It is characterized by excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody known as IgE, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response. Common allergic reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma, food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees.

Mild allergies like hay fever are highly prevalent in the human population and cause symptoms such as allergic conjunctivitis, itchiness, and runny nose. 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 anaphylactic reactions and potentially death.

A variety of tests now exist to diagnose allergic conditions; these include testing the skin for responses to known allergens or analyzing the blood for the presence and levels of allergen-specific IgE. Treatments for allergies include allergen avoidance, use of anti-histamines, steroids or other oral medications, immunotherapy to desensitize the response to allergen, and targeted therapy.

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