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Also called allergy triggers, are substances that could cause an allergic reaction in some people. Common allergens are pollen, dust mites, food and animals.
An allergic reaction is when the body senses a harmful threat (allergens like dust mites, pollen or food) and the immune system starts to produce antibodies as an attempt to protect the body. The antibody produced is called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). When your body comes in contact with an allergen it recognizes, the IgE binds to it and causes cells in your body to release histamine and other substances which cause inflammation and other symptoms - this is an allergic reaction.
May be called hay fever, but allergic rhinitis is not just seasonal. It is a reaction to aeroallergens that your body is sensitized to. Symptoms could include a runny and itchy nose, often in combination with itchy, irritated and watery eyes.
An acute life-threatening, allergic reaction that is most often caused by an exposure to an allergen. A number of substances (allergens) can cause this but the most common are food (peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, milk, eggs and soy), medications and stinging insects. Common symptoms include hives, tingling and itching around the mouth, swelling in the mouth & throat. An anaphylactic reaction requires immediate medical attention and a trip to the emergency department. Because it can get so serious so fast, speedy treatment is incredibly important.
A protein produced by the immune system to fight disease. In response to an allergic trigger, antibodies tell your cells to release chemicals, like histamine, causing allergy symptoms. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is an example of an antibody.
A toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies.
A type of medication that blocks the effects of histamine, a chemical released in your body during an allergic reaction.
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.
Atopy refers to the genetic disposition to develop allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Atopy is typically associated with heightened immune responses to common allergens, especially inhaled allergens and food allergens.
The system of immune responses of a body against its own healthy cells and tissues. Simply put, autoimmunity means self-immunity and is an often life-long attack on the body, staged by its own immune system.
Any disease that results from an irregular immune response. Autoimmune diseases originate from a continual and persistent immune response against the body itself.
An autoimmune reaction is when antibodies and immune cells target and attack the body's own tissues. For many autoimmune diseases, the reaction is linked to an encounter with a particular pathogen, chemical, drug, toxin, or hormone - but the most important factor is genetics.
Also called pinkeye, it’s an inflammation of the clear thin outer layer (conjunctiva) of the eyeball. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become inflamed, they’re more visible. This is what causes the whites of your eyes to appear reddish or pink.1 It can be caused by a virus, bacteria, an irritant (like shampoo, smoke or chlorine) or by allergies.
This occurs when the proteins in one substance (like pollen) are similar to the proteins found in another substance (like a food) and your immune system views them as the same, which causes an allergic reaction.
An injection-based medication used to treat anaphylaxis. Epinephrine typically comes as a single-dose pre-filled auto injector.
An irritation of the outer layer of the eyeball which can occur as a consequence of exposure to allergens or because of a common cold. This is also known as conjunctivitis and often occurs in combination with rhinitis.
Referring to the gastrointestinal tract, namely the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intesting and rectum, and the accesory organs of digestion, the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.
The chemical that is released by the immune system and is involved in causing an allergic reaction.
Increased sensitivity in the airways, often caused by cold, strong scents and tobacco smoke. This often affects asthma patients.
An overactive thyroid gland.
An underactive thyroid gland.
The body’s defense system, which works to defend and protect the body from viruses, infections and disease. But if you suffer from allergies, your body’s immune system reacts to certain normally harmless substances. In autoimmune disorders, the immune system causes the body to attack itself.
A procedure for measuring the immunological activity of a blood sample.
A commonly used laboratory test to aid in the diagnosis of people with allergy-like symptoms. This technology offers specific analysis for over 650 allergens that can cause allergies.
Also called hyposensitization or allergy vaccination is when an allergen that causes a reaction is administered with increasing doses during a span of time, to help a person develop tolerance to that allergen. The idea is that the immune system can be desensitized to specific allergens and that immunotherapy can lead to lessening of allergy symptoms.
A substance that causes slight inflammation or other discomfort to the body.
A legume is a plant or fruit/seed in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae). Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupin bean, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, and tamarind.
A reaction occurring at the point of exposure (e.g. oral itch from eating something).
These are an important part of the immune system and can be found throughout the body. Inside the mast cells are different chemicals, like histamine, that when released cause inflammation leading to allergic reactions.
The development of a disease.
Also known as indoor allergies. These result from exposure to year round allergens like house dust mites, mold and animal dander.
The process by which your body becomes sensitized to an allergen (like pollen or animal dander) —and then allergic—to a particular substance (allergen).
A skin prick test involves puncturing or scratching the upper layer of your skin, to introduce a very small amount of a suspected allergen to your immune system. If you are allergic, a reaction similar to a mosquito bite, a wheal will appear, usually within 20 minutes.
An IgE antibody to a specific substance, for example cat dander.
Measures the amount of antibodies in the blood (IgE) to a particular allergen, which is an indicator of allergic sensitization. These are tests for hundreds of allergens, such as pollen (e.g. grass, tree, weed), mold, food, and animal dander. An ImmunoCAPTM Specific IgE blood test can help your healthcare professional determine if you are allergic and to what. It is an easy test and can be performed irrespective of age; including babies, skin condition, medication, symptoms, disease activity and pregnancy.2-5
Everyone has a different level of IgE antibodies at which they show symptoms. This is known as the symptom threshold. Until the threshold is reached, they are not affected. However, once the threshold is reached, the combination of sensitizations turns into symptoms.6,7