Related topics: asthma

Fishing-bait bloodworms have bee-sting bites

The bite of a bloodworm delivers venom that causes severe allergic reactions. Scientists studying the venom for the first time have discovered why it causes a reaction similar to that of a bee sting.

Mites On Hissing Cockroach May Benefit Humans With Allergies

Tiny mites living on the surface of Madagascar hissing cockroaches help decrease the presence of a variety of molds on the cockroaches’ bodies, potentially reducing allergic responses among humans who handle the popular ...

Gentler, safer hair dye based on synthetic melanin

With the coronavirus pandemic temporarily shuttering hair salons, many clients are appreciating—and missing—using hair dye to cover up grays or touch up roots. Whether done at a salon or at home, frequent coloring, however, ...

A substance from bacteria can lead to allergy-free sunscreen

As the realisation that radiation emitted by the sun can give rise to skin cancer has increased, so also has the use of sunscreen creams. These creams, however, can give rise to contact allergy when exposed to the sun, and ...

Developing radically new technologies for X-ray systems

Siemens is investigating entirely new concepts for X-ray systems. The aim is to achieve a radical increase in imaging resolution and to enable phase-contrast X-ray imaging. This entirely new technique helps, for instance, ...

FitBit halts Force wristband sales due to rashes

Wearable technology maker Fitbit Inc. has stopped sales of its $130 Force wristband and is recalling it after the fitness gear caused skin problems for some customers.

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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.

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