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Are Allergies Considered A Disease

What Is Eczema And Who Gets It

What is allergic rhinitis? | Respiratory system diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

Eczema is the term for a few different skin conditions. But most of the time, it refers to a common skin disease called atopic dermatitis, which causes a dry, itchy, red rash. If you scratch it, it can start to ooze and crust over. Do it over time, and your skin can get thick and dark.

Most people with eczema get it as children. Symptoms often improve by age 5 or 6, and flare-ups stop for more than half of kids by their teenage years. But many people still have the disease as adults, though their symptoms tend to be milder. Itâs less common to get eczema for the first time as an adult.

What Is The Immune System

The purpose of the immune system is to defend itself and keep microorganisms, such as certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi, out of the body, and to destroy any infectious microorganisms that do invade the body. The immune system is made up of a complex and vital network of cells and organs that protect the body from infection.

The organs involved with the immune system are called the lymphoid organs. They affect growth, development, and the release of lymphocytes . The blood vessels and lymphatic vessels are important parts of the lymphoid organs. They carry the lymphocytes to and from different areas in the body. Each lymphoid organ plays a role in the production and activation of lymphocytes.

Lymphoid organs include:

  • Adenoids

  • Appendix

  • Blood vessels

  • Bone marrow

  • Lymph nodes

  • Lymphatic vessels

  • Peyer’s patches

  • Spleen

  • Thymus

  • Tonsils

Impact Of Stress On Immune System

The link between the brain and immune system involves two main pathways: the autonomic nervous system and the-hyphophyseal-pituitary – adrenal axis. Perception of stress leads to activation of HPA system which begins with the secretion of corticotrophin releasing hormone which in turn induces the secretion of adrenocortictrophic hormone by the anterior lobe of the pituitary lobe. ACTH activates the secretion of corticoids by the adrenal cortex and catecholamines by the adrenal medulla. The catecholamines and corticoids suppress the production of IL-12 by the antigen-presenting cells which is a primary TH1 cytokine-inducing inducing stimulus57. Corticoids can also exert a direct effect upon TH2 cells thus increasing the production of IL-4, IL-10 and IL-1358. The end result is the predominance of a TH2 cell mediated response which would favor an allergic inflammatory response in a susceptible individual.

The CNS modulates immune system through neurotransmitters , glutamic acid), neuropeptides , neurological growth factors ), and hormones whereas the immune system can also modulate CNS function via various molecules including cytokines , chemokines and nitric oxide 61. Perception of acute stress stimulates the locus ceruleus which secretes noradrenalin. Noradrenalin activates the sympathetic nervous system leading to decrease production of IL-12 as described earlier.

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Effective Prevention And Treatment Options Are Available

Allergen avoidance or minimisation relies on identifying the cause of the allergy and taking steps to reduce exposure to the allergen. For example, reducing dust mite in the home may help reduce symptoms in people who are allergic to mites.


  • Antihistamines block histamine release from mast cells, reducing symptoms. Non-sedating antihistamine tablets are available from pharmacies without a prescription. Antihistamine nasal and eye sprays can also be used.
  • Intranasal cortiocosteroid nasal sprays are effective for treatment of moderate to severe allergic rhinitis when used correctly. A prescription may be required for stronger dose INCS. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.
  • Combination therapies are used for treatment of moderate to severe allergic rhinitis and offer the advantages of both medications.
  • Medicated eye drops can be helpful in some cases, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
  • Adrenaline – is used for first aid emergency treatment of life threatening severe allergic reactions . Adrenaline is usually given using an adrenaline autoinjector that can be given without medical training.

Non-medicated treatments such as saline sprays are used for treating allergic rhinitis and sinusitis.

Allergen immunotherapy is a long-term treatment which changes the immune system’s response to allergens. It involves the administration of regular, gradually increasing amounts of allergen extracts, by injections or by sublingual tablets, sprays or drops.

Types Of Allergic Disease

World Allergy Day

Common Allergic Diseases Include: Allergic rhinitis or hay fever.In the U.S., approximately 35 million people suffer from this disease, which is characterized by sneezing, congestion, itching and dripping of the nose and itchy, watery eyes. Asthma, a chronic lung disease characterized by coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing. Asthma affects more than 17 million Americans, and asthma cases appear to be increasing annually. Asthma symptoms may be triggered by allergens or other, non-allergic stimuli, such as respiratory tract infections, cold air or tobacco smoke. Sinusitis and otitis media, common allergic diseases often triggered by allergic rhinitis. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the nasal sinuses, which are hollow cavities within the cheek bones found around the eyes and behind the nose. This condition affects over 15% of the U.S. population. Otitis media or common ear infections is the most common childhood disease requiring pediatric allergists care.

Atopic dermatitis, also called eczema. Symptoms of this allergic skin condition include itching, reddening and flaking or peeling of the skin. This rash is usually seen in young infants, but can occur later in individuals with personal or family histories of atopy, meaning asthma or allergic rhinitis.

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What Should I Know About Egpa

  • Almost all EGPA patients have asthma and/or sinus polyps, and a higher-than-normal level of eosinophils.
  • Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, depending on which organs are involved and the extent of disease. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, rapid and sudden weight loss, muscle and joint pain, skin rashes, numbness or tingling of the hands or feet, increasing shortness of breath or coughing and abdominal pain.
  • EGPA is serious but treatable. Treatment typically includes oral corticosteroids used in combination with medications that suppress the immune system.
  • In late 2017, a new medication was added to the treatment toolbox. FDA approved the use of the biologic drug mepolizumab for the treatment of EGPA in adults.
  • Even with effective treatment, EGPA is a chronic illness with cycles of relapse and remission that can cause serious health problems, so ongoing medical care is necessary.

Food Allergies In Children

No parent wants to see their child suffer. Since fatal and near-fatal food allergy reactions can occur at school or other places outside the home, parents of a child with food allergies need to make sure that their childs school has a written emergency action plan. The plan should provide instructions on preventing, recognizing and managing food allergies and should be available in the school and during activities such as sporting events and field trips. If your child has been prescribed an auto-injector, be sure that you and those responsible for supervising your child understand how to use it.

In November 2013, President Barack Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act , which encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have epinephrine auto-injectors on hand. As of late 2014, dozens of states had passed laws that either require schools to have a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors for general use or allow school districts the option of providing a supply of epinephrine. Many of these laws are new, and it is uncertain how well they are being implemented. As a result, ACAAI still recommends that providers caring for food-allergic children in states with such laws maintain at least two units of epinephrine per allergic child attending the school.

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Viral Infections In Allergy

Viral infections can have a variety of opposing effects on allergy and asthma development depending on the circumstances, viruses can either protect against or trigger allergic disorders. During the first year of life, the immune system and respiratory tract mature quickly, and postnatal lung development is influenced by and affects viral infection responses. The type of virus, age, intensity, timing, and location of the infection, as well as interactions with pollutants or allergens, have all been linked to allergic diseases development, particularly asthma, regarding viral infections . By binding to certain receptors on the airway epithelial cells surface, viruses trigger antiviral and inflammatory responses, resulting in the innate immune responses activation, the recruitment of mononuclear and neutrophil cells to the area, and the release of mediators, such as chemokines and cytokines . Such events can alter immunological and epithelial responses to a hyperactive state .

Other Methods Of Testing

What is an oral allergy syndrome?

Allergen challenge testing: During allergen challenge test, the subject was monitored and the whole procedure was done in the presence of a expert clinician. In this, a small amount of suspected allergen was introduced to subject through oral or other routes and appearance of allergic reactions were monitored. This test provides confirmative evidence and identifies the causative allergen.

Elimination/Challenge tests: In this procedure, subject was instructed to avid coming in contact with allergen prior to test. During asymptomatic time, few suspected allergens were added with food or medicines and were given to subject and the appearance of allergic symptoms was recorded. Based on this a true allergen can be identified for planning treatment.

Patch testing: Patch testing is much in practice for identifying the contact dermatisis or delayed type of allergic reactions. In this case an allergen is placed on the patch and that is stick to the back of the subject. The symptoms will be observed after 24 hrs for the appearance of symptoms.

Unreliable tests: There are some allergic tests which are not considered for practice by International allergy council and those does not provide proper scientific evidence to identify allergy or allergens. Some of them are cytotoxicity testing, provocative tests, subcutaneous or sublingual testing. In future with substantiate research and technical improvement can be used for diagnosis of some of the allergic diseases.

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Summary Of Main Findings

This systematic review has identified great heterogeneity across studies with regard to approaches, methods and allergic phenotypes. Most of the studies included are cohort or cross-sectional studies. Most often, information has been collected using both questionnaires and objective measurements. Most studies aim to describe phenotypes and/or explore heterogeneity within phenotypes and, to a lesser extent, assess disease prognosis and/or explore the interrelationships between phenotypes. Hardly any of the studies validate phenotypes or appraise methods to better define these. Thirty-three phenotypes are identified and defined according to 7 defining traits. Asthma is the most common disease entity studied, accounting for 16 phenotypes. Multimorbidity or comorbidity with other allergic diseases is assessed in half of the cases, most often as a risk factor for asthma. The most common phenotypes are those using temporal patterns of wheezing, particularly transient early, late-onset and persistent wheeze. We revealed a major lack of an integrated framework for phenotype identification and reporting.

How Does A Person Become Allergic

Allergens can be inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin. Common allergic reactions, such as hay fever, certain types of asthma, and hives are linked to an antibody produced by the body called immunoglobulin E . Each IgE antibody can be very specific, reacting against certain pollens and other allergens. In other words, a person can be allergic to one type of pollen, but not another. When a susceptible person is exposed to an allergen, the body starts producing a large quantity of similar IgE antibodies. The next exposure to the same allergen may result in an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction will vary depending on the type and amount of allergen encountered and the manner in which the body’s immune system reacts to that allergen.

Allergies can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Generally, allergies are more common in children. However, a first-time occurrence can happen at any age, or recur after many years of remission. Hormones, stress, smoke, perfume, or environmental irritants may also play a role in the development or severity of allergies.

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The Immune System Reaction

Allergy is the result of mistaken identity. An allergen enters the body and is wrongly identified by the immune system as a dangerous substance. In response, the immune system makes antibodies to attack the allergen. These are specific antibodies of the IgE class. When an allergen is found, IgE antibodies trigger a cascade of immune system reactions, including the release of chemicals known as mast cell chemicals. These are substances that the body normally uses to destroy micro-organisms. The most common of these is histamine. In small amounts, histamine causes itching and reddening of the local area. In large amounts, the nearby blood vessels become dilated and the area swells with accumulated fluid.The immune systems tendency to overreact to a harmless substance is thought to be genetic. The term atopy describes this genetic tendency. Doctors describe a person who has an allergy as being atopic such people usually have raised levels of IgE in their blood.

What Is Allergic Disease

Seasonal Allergies

Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from some form of allergic disease. Allergic disease can develop at any age, and heredity plays a key role in who will develop it. If one parent has allergic disease, the estimated risk of the child to develop allergies is 48% and the childs risk grows to 70% if both parents have allergies. Symptoms of allergic disease are the result of events occurring within your immune system, the bodys defense mechanism against harmful substances. The body of an individual with allergic disease identifies some substances, called allergens, as harmful. These substances, which are harmless to most people, trigger allergic reactions within that persons immune system. When someone predisposed to allergic disease encounters an allergen to which they are sensitive, a chain of events occurs.

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Allergy Treatment During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

For pregnant women with allergies, avoidance of the allergen is the best way to control symptoms. If symptoms are severe, an antihistamine nasal spray is recommended. An oral antihistamine should be used only if antihistamine nasal sprays are inadequate.

During breastfeeding, nonsedating antihistamines are preferred. Sedating antihistamines can be used, but they may cause drowsiness and irritability in the infant. If a sedating antihistamine is required, the infant should be monitored for these effects.

Antihistamine nasal sprays are preferred to oral antihistamines. If oral antihistamines are essential for controlling symptoms, they should be taken immediately after breastfeeding. Cyproheptadine is contraindicated during breastfeeding because it lowers prolactin levels and thus may reduce lactation.

Ineffective And Unproven Treatments

An enzyme potentiated desensitization experimental treatment has been tested in some recent investigations, but no encouraging outcomes have been found. The same method is currently used in many hypoallergenic food preparations. The treatment approach, however, was not convincing, and was not acknowledged as effective. EPD uses allergen dilutions with beta-glucuronidase enzymes to polarize T-regulatory lymphocytes and to change the allergen nature, which down-regulates IgE induction, favors desensitization, and prevents allergic reactions .

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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Allergies

The type and severity of allergy symptoms vary from allergy to allergy and person to person. Allergies may show up as itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy nose, throat tightness, trouble breathing, vomiting, and even fainting or passing out.

Kids with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can happen just seconds after being exposed to an allergen or not until a few hours later .

So doctors will want anyone diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency. Epinephrine works quickly against serious allergy symptoms for example, it reduces swelling and raises low blood pressure.

Airborne Allergy Symptoms

Airborne allergens can cause something known as allergic rhinitis, which usually develops by 10 years of age, reaches its peak in the teens or early twenties, and often disappears between the ages of 40 and 60.

Symptoms can include:

  • swelling
  • a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

Allergic reactions can vary. Sometimes, a person can have a mild reaction that affects only one body system, like hives on the skin. Other times, the reaction can be more serious and involve more than one part of the body. A mild reaction in the past does not mean that future reactions will be mild.

Anaphylaxis: What Is It And How To Get Help

Treating Eczema in Infancy May Prevent a Lifetime of Allergic Diseases

Most people with allergies get only mild to moderate symptoms, but bad cases can lead to anaphylaxis.

Itâs a serious situation and can put your body into shock. Food, medications, insect bites, or latex are the most likely causes.

A second anaphylactic episode can happen up to 12 hours after the first one.

The symptoms of anaphylaxis can come on suddenly.

They can quickly go from a mild rash or runny nose to serious problems such as a hard time breathing, tightness in the throat, hives or swelling, nausea or vomiting, and fainting or dizziness. Some people can get a rapid pulse or their heart will stop beating.

If youâve had previous attacks or know you are at risk for anaphylaxis, your doctor might prescribe medicine that you can give yourself, or that someone else can give you. Adrenaclick,Auvi-Q, EpiPen, Symjepi or a generic version of an epinephrine auto-injectorâââââââ are devices loaded with this medicine.

Carry this with you always and be aware of your allergy triggers.

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Cpg Odns As Adjuvants For Allergy Vaccines

Allergic diseases result from Th2-type immune responses against otherwise harmless environmental antigens. Such responses lead to the generation of Th2 T cells that produce IL-4 and IL-5 and promote the differentiation of B cells into IgE-secreting cells. This IgE binds to the high-affinity IgE Fc receptor on the surface of mast cells and basophils. Subsequent exposure of these cells to an allergen results in the binding of the allergen by surface IgE, crosslinking of the IgE Fc receptors, and activation and degranulation of the mast cells or basophils. These cells release a variety of preformed proinflammatory and vasoactive compounds, including histamine, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and cytokines. This results in an immediate inflammatory response , followed by a secondary late-phase reaction several hours later.

Stephanie.T. Yerkovich, John.W. Upham, in, 2011


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