An allergic response that affects the mucous membranes of the nose and upper air passages causing runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and scratchy throat. Allergic rhinitis that occurs seasonally is often referred to as “hay fever”.
A sudden severe allergic reaction that involves various areas of the body simultaneously or causes difficulty with swelling that of the throat and tongue. In extreme cases, it can cause death. The type of reaction is sometimes called a general reaction or allergic shock.
A drug that inhibits the action of histamines, a chemical that is released during the allergic reaction. Histamines contract smooth muscles and dilate capillaries causing allergic symptoms.
Medications to help make the swelling go down in the lining of the airways of the lungs. These medications maintain asthma control and include anti-inflammatory agents (Intal, Tilade), inhaled corticosteroids (Flovent, Azmacort, Pulmicort), oral steroids (Prednisone), and anti-leukotrienes (Singulair, Accolate).
Medications that are used to relax the muscles that surround the airways in lungs. This includes “rescue medication” such as Albuterol, Proventil, and Ventolin as well as “controller medications” such as Serevent.
The immune system's reaction to a certain food. The immune system mistakenly reads the food as harmful and creates antibodies to that food. When the food is eaten again, the immune system releases histamine and other chemicals. These chemicals cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
See Allergic Rhinitis
Commonly known as allergy shots or desensitization therapy. An extract of the allergen is injected just below the skin in gradually increasing doses to allow the immune system to build up a natural immunity to the allergen.
A type of cell present in large numbers in the nasal membranes and lungs. Activation of these cells by an allergic antibody causes the release of several substances, including histamine and heparin that lead to symptoms such as runny nose, itching, congestion, and mucus production.
Peak Flow Meter:
A peak flow meter is a device which measures how fast an individual can move air out of their lungs in a single breath. It has a hollow mouthpiece on a scale with a marker which moves up the scale as air is blown into the meter.
RadioAllergoSorbent Test. The patient's blood is mixed with a possible allergen in a test tube. Additional of a radioactive antibody to human antibodies shows whether the allergen can cause an allergic response in the patient.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
A common virus that infects the lower respiratory tract. In adults it is a mild cold, but in young children it can lead to pneumonia and brochiolitis. This virus is in the same family as the viruses that cause measles and mumps.
Skin prick test:
An allergy test conducted by placing a drop of the substance being tested on the arm or back. Using a special tool, the top layer of the skin is pricked to allow some of the extract to seep in. If the patient is allergic, a mosquito-like bump will develop at the test site.