List of Allergic Disorders
• Hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) — meaning inflammation in the nose — is produced when IgE antibodies made by the immune system activate mast cells, causing symptoms in the upper respiratory tract.
It’s triggered by specific pollens from grasses, weeds or trees appearing in spring, summer or fall.
Each pollen-producing plant has its own seasonal pollination peak. Springtime allergies may be due to ash, birch and elm, among others; midsummer pollen allergies are often due to grasses such as orchard, rye and bluegrasses.
Fall allergies may arise from ragweed and other weed pollens.
Chief symptoms are sore, red, watering eyes, a stuffy, itchy nose, endless sneezing, a clear nasal discharge, blocked sinuses, perhaps earache, and itching of the roof of the mouth and/or ears.
• Non-seasonal or perennial (year-round) allergic rhinitis —with nasal stuffiness, sneezing, watery eyes and a perpetually sore or burning throat — is also an IgE-mediated reaction, and is triggered mainly by indoor allergens such as dust mites, cockroach parts, mold or fungal spores and cat or dog dander.
• Eye (ocular) allergy, or allergic conjunctivitis — with eye redness, itching and swelling, perhaps a sticky discharge frequently accompanies hay fever, or is precipitated by direct contact with a cosmetic or other substance.
• Urticaria (hives) — with red, itchy, raised welts on any pal I of the skin, and some swelling — may be triggered by a food, insect sting, drug, or local contact (e.g., with latex or a dye), or can be a sign of anaphylaxis, so it must be taken seriously.
If the hives affect deeper tissues there may he flII considerable swelling. Hives can be “acute” — coming on suddenly, lasting a short while and then disappearing; or “chronic” — persistent and long-lasting. Chronic hives, frustratingly, often have no traceable cause and may not be due to an allergy.
• Food allergies
— are most commonly due to cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shell-fish, nuts, legumes (such as peanuts or soy), and occasionally certain fruits and vegetables.
A food allergy is typically heralded by tingling, burning and swelling of the tongue and lips, nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, perhaps throat swelling and difficulty breathing.
The symptoms can extend to the whole body and be rapidly life threatening.
• Animal allergies — especially to cats and dogs — are increasing with the rising popularity of household pets. Veterinarians, and laboratory personnel may become sensitive to animals, and farm workers may develop an allergy to the animals they working with.
The response typically includes a stuffy, itchy nose, red, sore, weepy eyes, wheezing and hives.
• Insect Allergies can he severe, and are mostly triggered by venom from the sting of certain Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets), and also by some biting insects.
There may be a large, inflamed, and swelling at the attack site, perhaps becoming more widespread, with hives, throat swelling, weakness and shock, requiring immediate medical treatment.
However, a systematic (total body) insect- sting reaction can occur even with negligible swelling or soreness at the attack site.
Drug and Vaccine allergies
– sometimes severe- are most frequently triggered by antibiotics (such as penicillin and sulpha drugs) anaesthetics, heparin, dextran, ASA (Aspirin) and certain radio contrast dyes (used in X-ray imaging).
Atopic Dermatitis (eczema) characterized by an angry, itching, scaly, weepy rash – is quite common in young children and can be linked to an allergy. Skin tests may identify a trigger, but in about one-third of cases no obvious cause is found.
• Contact Dermatitis
— not an IgE-mediated response but a different immune-system reaction, with an itchy skin rash or hives — is set off by repeated contact with numerous triggers such as a plant chemical, metal, cosmetic or manufactured product. It can be very disabling and may even force people to change jobs.
— a non-contiguous lung disorder, sometimes triggered by allergies — involves coughing, wheezing (a whistling sound on breathing out), shortness of breath, airway inflammation and mucus collection in the lungs’ bronchial passages which can seriously impair breathing.