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What Is The Definition Of Allergy

Effective Prevention And Treatment Options Are Available

What are allergies?

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.

How To Manage An Allergy

In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.

For example, if you have a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.

There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:

  • antihistamines these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
  • tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
  • lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
  • steroid medicines sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can help reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction

For some people with very severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.

This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.

What Is An Allergic Reaction

An allergic reaction is the way your body responds to the allergen. A chain of events occur that result in an allergic reaction.

If you are prone to allergies, the first time youre exposed to a specific allergen , your body responds by producing allergic antibodies. The job of these antibodies is to find the allergens and help remove them from your system. As a result, a chemical called histamine is released and causes symptoms of allergies.

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How Do I Find Out If I Have Allergies

If you sneeze and itch a lot, wheeze, or often get sick after eating a certain food, your doctor may want to check you for allergies. He or she will ask you a lot of questions about your health, about the animals and plants in your home, and about the foods you eat. Your answers will provide clues about what you might be allergic to, and your doctor may ask you to stay away from a pet or stop eating a certain food to see if your symptoms go away.

Your doctor may send you to an allergist , a special doctor who helps people who have allergies. An allergist may give you a scratch test to see if a tiny bit of an allergen will cause a reaction on your skin. You’ll feel a quick pinch when the doctor makes the scratch or scratches. If you’re allergic, one or more spots will become bumpy, itchy, and red like a mosquito bite.

Some doctors also might test a kid’s blood to look for IgE, a substance called an antibody that signals an allergic reaction. If you have large amounts of this antibody in your blood, you are probably allergic to the allergen.


How Are Allergies Treated


Although avoiding the allergen is an important treatment approach, it usually doesnt completely end the allergic reaction.

Medications such as antihistamines , decongestants , or a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medications, are used to treat your allergy symptoms. Nasal sprays such as topical nasal steroids , cromolyn sodium, and topical nasal antihistamines also can be used to treat allergy symptoms.

Asthma medications, which reduce allergy symptoms, include:

  • Inhaled bronchodilators.
  • Oral anti-leukotrienes .
  • Injected medications, such as omalizumab , dupilumab , reslizumab , benralizumab , or Mepolizumab .

Immunotherapy or allergy oral immunotherapy is recommended if your symptoms arent adequately controlled with a combination of avoidance measures and regular medication use. This shot has been shown to be effective in properly selected patients with allergic rhinitis and/or allergic asthma.

Another treatment option is saline irrigation using a sinus rinse kit. These rinse kits are sold over-the-counter or can be made at home. To make your own rinse, combine one-half teaspoon non-iodinated salt with one-half teaspoon baking soda in eight ounces of distilled or boiled water. This mixture rinses out allergens and decreases the amount of inflammation they cause.

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Why Do Some Kids Get Allergies

People may be born with a genetic tendency to have allergies, which means they are more likely to get them than other people are. Many allergies are hereditary passed to kids in the genes they get from their parents so you have a better chance of having allergies if your mom or dad or other people in your family have them.

People can develop allergies when they are babies, children, teens, or adults, although allergies often decrease in older people.

Many people outgrow food allergies. Other allergies can last your whole life, although they may be less severe or more severe at different points in your life.

Anaphylaxis And Severe Allergic Reactions

Anaphylaxis is a life threatening severe allergic reaction. It is a medical emergency, and requires immediate treatment. A severe allergic reaction can cause an anaphylactic shock and must be treated with an Adrenaline Auto Injector .

The most common causes of anaphylactic reactions include:

  • certain foods . However, all foods can potentially cause anaphylaxis
  • insect stings

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What Are The Symptoms Of Allergies

Allergy symptoms are classified as mild, moderate or severe:

  • Mild reactions include local symptoms such as a rash or hives, itchiness, watery/red eyes, hay fever and runny nose. Mild reactions do not spread to other parts of your body.
  • Moderate reactions include symptoms that spread to other parts of your body. Symptoms may include itchiness, hives, and/or swelling and trouble breathing.
  • A severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, is a rare, life-threatening emergency in which your bodys response to the allergen is sudden and affects the whole body. Anaphylaxis may begin with severe itching of your eyes or face. Within minutes, more serious symptoms appear, including throat swelling , abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, hives and swelling . You may also have mental confusion or dizziness, since anaphylaxis may cause a drop in blood pressure.

Toxins Interacting With Proteins

What is Allergic Rhinitis?

Another non-food protein reaction, urushiol-induced contact dermatitis, originates after contact with poison ivy, eastern poison oak, western poison oak, or poison sumac. Urushiol, which is not itself a protein, acts as a hapten and chemically reacts with, binds to, and changes the shape of integral membrane proteins on exposed skin cells. The immune system does not recognize the affected cells as normal parts of the body, causing a T-cell-mediated immune response. Of these poisonous plants, sumac is the most virulent. The resulting dermatological response to the reaction between urushiol and membrane proteins includes redness, swelling, papules, vesicles, blisters, and streaking.

Estimates vary on the percentage of the population that will have an immune system response. Approximately 25 percent of the population will have a strong allergic response to urushiol. In general, approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of adults will develop a rash if they are exposed to .0050 milligrams of purified urushiol, but some people are so sensitive that it takes only a molecular trace on the skin to initiate an allergic reaction.

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What Are The Types Of Allergies And How Are They Treated

You can be allergic to a wide variety of substances including pollen, animal dander, mold and dust mites.


Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is an allergic response to pollen. It causes inflammation and swelling of the lining of your nose and of the protective tissue of your eyes .

Symptoms include sneezing, congestion , and itchy, watery eyes, nose and mouth. Treatment options include over-the-counter and prescription oral antihistamines, anti-leukotrienes, nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines, and nasal cromolyn. In some people, allergic asthma symptoms can be caused by exposure to pollen.

Your symptoms can be reduced by avoiding pollen. Stay indoors when pollen counts are high, close your windows, and use air conditioning. Ask your healthcare provider about immunotherapy to treat pollen allergy.

Dust mites

Dust mites are tiny organisms that live in dust and in the fibers of household objects, such as pillows, mattresses, carpet, and upholstery. Dust mites grow in warm, humid areas.

The symptoms of dust mite allergy are similar to those of pollen allergy. To help manage dust mite allergies, try using dust mite encasements over pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Also, remove carpet, or vacuum frequently with a high-efficiency filter vacuum cleaner. Treatment may include medications to control your nasal/eye and chest symptoms. Immunotherapy may be recommended if your symptoms are not adequately controlled with avoidance methods and medications.


What Happens When You Have An Allergic Reaction

When a person who is allergic to a particular allergen comes into contact with it, an allergic reaction occurs:

  • When the allergen enters the body, it triggers an antibody response.
  • The antibodies attach themselves to mast cells.
  • When the pollen comes into contact with the antibodies, the mast cells respond by releasing histamine.
  • When the release of histamine is due to an allergen, the resulting inflammation is irritating and uncomfortable.

Similar reactions can occur to some chemicals and food additives. However if they do not involve the immune system, they are known as adverse reactions, not allergy.

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Allergic Diseases Of The Eye

Allergic eye disease is typically divided into five distinct types: allergic conjunctivitis subdivided into seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis , atopic keratoconjunctivitis , vernal keratoconjunctivitis , and giant papillary conjunctivitis . Giant papillary conjunctivitis is considered an iatrogenic form of allergic eye disease. In the discussion that follows, clinical, pathophysiological, and diagnostic aspects of each ocular process will be discussed in detail. These parameters are summarized inTables 38.1 and38.2.

Allergic Conjunctivitis: Seasonal or Perennial


Allergic conjunctivitis is a bilateral, self-limiting conjunctival inflammatory process. It occurs in sensitized individuals and is initiated by allergen binding to IgE antibody on resident mast cells. The two forms of AC are defined by whether the inflammation and symptoms occur seasonally or perennially . Although the inflammatory signs and symptoms are similar for both entities, seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is more common. It accounts for the majority of cases of AC and is related to pollens that appear during specific seasons. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis is often related to animal dander, dust mites, or other allergens that are present in the environment year-round. Both SAC and PAC must be differentiated from the sight-threatening allergic diseases of the eye, namely AKC and VKC.

Historical Perspective.

May Loo MD, in, 2009

Types Of Food Allergies


Food allergies are divided into 3 types, depending on symptoms and when they occur.

  • IgE-mediated food allergy the most common type, triggered by the immune system producing an antibody called immunoglobulin E . Symptoms occur a few seconds or minutes after eating. There’s a greater risk of anaphylaxis with this type of allergy.
  • non-IgE-mediated food allergy these allergic reactions aren’t caused by immunoglobulin E, but by other cells in the immune system. This type of allergy is often difficult to diagnose as symptoms take much longer to develop .
  • mixed IgE and non-IgE-mediated food allergies some people may experience symptoms from both types.

Read more information about the symptoms of a food allergy.

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Pearls And Other Issues

The symptoms are pruritus, flushing, rash, urticaria, swelling of the lips, tongue, and airway, , nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, shortness of breath, wheezing and bronchospasm, stridor, syncope, collapse, and progressive to hypotension which can be profound.

The reactions are general IgE mediated.

The recognition of the condition needs to be early and treatment aggressive.

The drug treatment begins with epinephrine, if not hypotensive then progresses to IV in persistent, refractory, or progressive cases. Adjunctive therapies include H1 and H2 blocking agents like diphenhydramine and ranitidine Glucocorticoids are also useful.

Special considerations for patients comorbidities need to be considered, such as the use of glucagon for beta-blocker toxicity and antiemetics for gastrointestinal symptoms.

Treatments for those refractory cases include methylene blue, vasopressin, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Patients should receive an emergency action plan for when exposure or anaphylactic symptoms develop. This plan includes an epinephrine pen dispenser and activation of emergency medical services for transport to the hospital.

Education of the patient about lifestyle changes to avoid exposures is vital. Referral to an allergist for immune therapy and identification of possible allergens is indicated in patients with severe anaphylaxis and high risk for recurrence.

What Is An Allergy

An allergy is the response of the bodys immune system to normally harmless substances, such as pollens, foods, and house dust mite. Whilst in most people these substances pose no problem, in allergic individuals their immune system identifies them as a threat and produces an inappropriate response. This can be relatively minor, such as localised itching, but in more severe cases it cause anaphylaxis, a condition which can lead to upper respiratory obstruction and collapse and can be fatal.

Allergies are very common. Theyre thought to affect more than 1 in 4 people in the UK at some point in their lives. Theyre particularly common in children. Some allergies go away as a child gets older, although many are lifelong.

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What Is The Meaning Of Meaning Of Word

noun. It can mean the sense of significance, meaning or significance of a word or a symbol, as well as its semantic or lexical content the meaning and sense or significance of words or symbols. Dreams are thought by a person of their inner or symbolic meaning, such as a way to explain their meanings, value or message.

Which Areas Of The Body May Be Affected

Allergy | What is Anaphylaxis? | StreamingWell.com

People experience different symptoms, depending on the allergen and where it enters the body. Allergic reactions can involve many parts of the body at the same time.

Nose, eyes, sinuses and throat

When allergens are breathed in, the release of histamine causes the lining of the nose to produce more mucus and become swollen and inflamed. It causes the nose to run and itch, and violent sneezing may occur. Eyes may start to water and people may get a sore throat.

Lungs and chest

Asthma can be triggered during an allergic reaction. When an allergen is breathed in, the lining of the passages in the lungs swells and makes breathing difficult.

Stomach and bowel

Foods that commonly cause allergy include peanuts, seafood, dairy products and eggs. Cow’s milk allergy in infants may occur and can cause eczema, asthma, colic and stomach upset. Some people cannot digest lactose . Lactose intolerance causes stomach upsets, but should not be confused with allergy.


Skin problems that can be triggered by allergy include atopic dermatitis and urticaria .

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What Is A Food Allergy

Food allergy is a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition affecting 32 million Americans. One in every 13 children has a food allergythats about 2 in every U.S. classroom. And every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.

Food allergy is among the diseases considered to be part of the Atopic March. Also known as the Allergic March, this term refers to the progression of allergic diseases in a persons life: eczema, food allergy, allergic rhinitis and asthma. Not everyone will follow this progression, or experience every condition.

Fighting On The Allergy Front

You might not be able to control your allergies completely, but you can do yourself a favor by avoiding anything that causes your allergy symptoms.

Pets. If you are allergic to an animal, you might have to find a new home for your pet. If you can’t do that, it can help to keep pets out of your bedroom, have someone bathe them at least once a week, or have the animal live outside. You’ll also want to avoid pets at other people’s homes.

Dust mites. If dust mites are your trouble, your mom or dad can use special covers for your bed and wash your sheets and blankets in very hot water to get rid of them. Keeping your room neat and clean also will help. Store stuffed animals or other stuff that attracts dust somewhere other than your room.

Food allergies. If you have food allergies, always read food labels to check the ingredients and learn the different names for the food allergen. Even though you may have eaten a food before, always check the label because ingredients may change. If you’re not sure about a food, don’t eat it. Instead, ask a grownup if it’s safe. Your mom or dad can help teach you which foods and ingredients you should avoid.

Also, your parents can help you pack safe snacks for occasions away from home when everyone else might be having something you can’t, such as peanut butter ice cream. Then, instead of feeling left out, you can snack along with your friends without risking an allergy attack and, even worse, having to go home early!

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