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Allergen: A substance, typically a protein, that elicits an IgE response associated with clinical symptoms Allergic Reaction: An adverse immunological reaction associated with allergic responses Allergies: The constellation of clinical problems typically associated with allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, asthma and eczema Allergy: A reaction of the immune system that is triggered by allergens, associated with IgE and is typically harmless to most people Anaphylaxis: An acute IgE-mediated allergic response that can be life-threatening Antibody(ies): A protein produced by the body’s immune system that helps neutralize germs by recognizing and binding a specific antigen Antigen: A substance, typically a protein, that elicits an immune response (such as an antibody) Asthma: Reversible airway obstruction associated with allergy, typically triggered by aeroallergen exposure Atopic Dermatitis: Also known as eczema. Dry, itchy skin rash associated with allergies. Atopy: The predisposition to develop the constellation of allergic diseases including eczema, rhinitis, asthma, and conjunctivitis in individuals with a family history of these problems. This inherited tendency to develop certain allergic hypersensitivity reactions is associated with elevation of IgE Basophil: A circulating white blood cell that bears IgE receptors, releases histamine and is involve in allergic reactions Corticosteroid Drugs: A drug of the corticosteroid classification that is typically used for its anti-inflammatory action DBPC (Double-blind Placebo-controlled) Study: This is a research study in which both the patient and the healthcare provider are unaware of whether the subject is being given the active drug or a placebo (sugar pill) in order to avoid bias in interpretation of the results Desensitization: Loss of immunological sensitization Eosinophil(s): A white blood cell that contains granules that absorb the eosin stain Food Allergies: Allergic reaction to a food substance Food Challenge: Exposure to a food with the aim of determining whether it will elicit an immunological or clinical response Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER): Retrograde flow of acidic gastric contents into the esophagus Hay Fever: Seasonal allergic rhinitis caused by exposure to pollen Histamine: A substance produced by allergic inflammatory cells (mast cells and basophils) that triggers acute allergic symptoms Hives: A raised and red skin reaction caused by a local or systemic exposure to a substance that is typically triggered by local mast cell activation House Dust Mite: An insect that lives in dust, typically thrives on human skin flakes and is a potent and common allergen IgE: Antibody of the E class that is involved in the the development of allergies by triggering mast cells and basophils IgG: The most common form of protective antibody Immunotherapy: Manipulation of the immune system to harness a beneficial effect Inflammation: Swelling of a particular tissue typically caused by the body’s immune response to injury Interleukin: A hormone in the body that regulates the communication between leukocytes Leukocytes: White blood cells Lymphocyte: A leukocyte is characterized by its small nucleus and mononuclear appearance that has a central roll in the adaptive arm (memory response) of the immune system Macrophage: A leukocyte that is characterized by its ability to engulf (ingest) foreign substances such as bacteria and able to activate lymphocytes Mast Cells: Leukocytes that have high affinity IgE receptors and are involved in triggering allergies Natural Killer Cell: A white blood cell involved in killing unwanted cells Neutrophil: A white blood cell that participates in host defence against bacteria and also is involved in propagating acute inflammation Patch Test: A skin test that measures delayed reactions to an allergen Pruritus: Itching Rhinitis: Nasal congestion Rhinorrhea: Clear nasal discharge SCID: Abbreviation for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Skin Prick Test: Application of allergens to the skin in order to determine the presence of sensitization to an allergen T cell: A component of the cellular part of the immune system that is involved in memory responses to foreign substances Tryptase: An enzyme produced by mast cells that is found in acute and chronic allergic reactions. Its levels in the blood can be used to determine the presence of anaphylaxis Urticaria: A raised rash characterized by its itchiness Venom: Toxin present in animals such as bees and snakes that can cause an allergic reaction Wheal: A raised bump on the skin often measured by skin prick testing for determining the presence of allergic response to an injected substance Xerosis: Dryness of the skin of the mucus membrane
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