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Zirtek - Allergies glossary
Category: Health and Medicine > Allergies
Date & country: 26/11/2007, UK
Words: 74


Acarids
Small spiders (arachnids) of which certain species can be found in household dust and particularly in bed linen.

Aeroallergen
Inhaled allergen.

Allergens
Antigenic substances capable of producing immediate type hypersensitivity (allergies)

Allergic reactions
Immunological reactions which cause allergic diseases.

Allergology
The science which studies allergies.

Anaphylaxis
General term indicating hypersensitivity (an allergic reaction by production of IgE; local or generalised, then called 'anaphylactic shock' which can be severe and life threatening).

Anemophilous pollens
are the more allergenic and, because they are carried on the wind, they can travel over very long distances. This is why some people suffer from allergic reactions to the pollen of plants which do not grow in the immediate area.

Anti-leukotriene
medication that blocks chemicals called leukotrienes in the airways. Leukotrienes occur naturally in the body and cause tightening of the airway muscles and production of excess mucus and fluid.

Antibodies
A specific substance which appears in blood or tissues when a foreign element (antigen) enters the body (synonym: immunoglobulin).

Antihistamine
A substance which blocks the action of histamine, a chemical released in the body fluids during an allergic reaction.

Asthma (bronchial)
A respiratory illness characterised by dyspnoea (difficult breathing) accompanied by wheezing, coughing and other symptoms, usually triggered by allergens (infection, exercise, cold air and other factors)

Atopic
A hereditary tendency to develop allergies (allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, eczema).

Atopy
A hereditary tendency to develop allergies (allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, eczema).

Bronchial hyperreactivity
Excessive reaction of the bronchi among asthmatics.

Bronchodilator
A group of drugs that widen the airways of the lung, used in asthma.

Bronchospasm
Sudden contraction of the bronchi (one of the symptoms of bronchial asthma).

Bronchus
any of the larger air passages that connect the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs.

Congestion
Excessive accumulation of blood in the vessels of an organ or tissue.

Conjunctivitis
Inflammation of the conjunctive of the eye (may be connected with allergic factors).

Corticosteroid
A group of anti-inflammatory drugs similar to the natural corticosteroid hormones produced by the adrenal glands

Cromoglycate (sodium)
A type of medicine used in the prevention of allergic diseases.

Dermatitis
Inflammation of the skin.

Desensitisation
Treatment intended to reduce or suppress sensitivity of the body to an allergy (synonyms: hyposensitivity, immunotherapy, specific vaccination).

Dyspnoea
Hampered breathing (increased frequency and amplitude of respiratory motion together with a feeling of oppression and a sensation of anguish).

Eczema
A skin disease characterised by erythema (redness), pruritus (itching), desquamation (scaling).

Entomophilous pollens
are usually produced by plants with brightly coloured, sweet-smelling flowers (to attract insects). Because they are produced in small quantities and are carried by insects, relatively few people become allergic to entomophilous pollens compared to anemophilous pollens.

Erythema
Redness of the skin due to congestion.

Graminaceae
Family of plants including cereals whose pollens are responsible for allergies.

Graminaceous plants
Family of plants including cereals whose pollens are responsible for allergies.

Hayfever
See Rhinitis

Herbaceous
A group of plant families belonging neither to the graminaceae nor to trees (composite, Polygonaceae, Urticaceae, etc.).

Heredity
Transmission of characteristics by parents to their children (e.g. being prone to allergies).

Histamine
One of the chemical substances involved in the inflammatory reaction and which is responsible for certain allergic symptoms.

Hives
See Urticaria

Hydrotherapy
Use of the therapeutic properties of natural mineral water.

Hymenopteron
A group of insects (wasps, bees, ants).

Hypersensitivity
Excessive sensitivity to certain external factors (over-reaction by immune system causing allergic symptoms).

Hyposensitivity
See 'desensitisation'.

IgE
Immunoglobulins E, a family of antibodies responsible for allergic reactions.

Immunity
Resistance of the body against external factors.

Immunoglobulin
See 'antibodies'.

Immunotherapy
See 'desensitisation'.

Inflammation
Redness, swelling, heat and pain in a tissue due to chemical or physical injury, infection, or allergic reaction.

Intolerance
An abnormal reaction of the body to an 'aggression' which most people would tolerate without any symptoms of illness.

Intradermal reaction
Skin test used to search for allergies.

Ketotifen
A medicine given to prevent allergies.

Mast cell stabilisers
Mast cell stabilisers are preventative agents which have no significant effect on acute symptoms. They should be used throughout exposure to the allergen for maximal effect. Several weeks` use is usually needed before benefits are noted.

Mildew
Filamentatious microscopic fungi.

Mucus
Liquid secretion produced by the mucous glands.

New Term
New Definition

Oedema
Infiltration of liquid into tissue (seen in the skin in the form of a painless swelling).

Patch test
Skin test for diagnosing contact eczemas.

Phototherapy
Treatment of a disease with light (visible or invisible).

Pimple or papule
Lesion of the skin expressed by a small local bump.

Pollen
Male semen of plants.

Pollinosis
An allergy to pollen ('hay fever').

Prick test
Skin test used to search for an allergy.

Provocation or challenge test
A test used to reproduce the symptoms of allergic reactions in order to determine precisely the responsible allergen and assess the gravity of the symptoms.

Prurigo
Dermatosis (skin condition) characterised by an intense pruritus (itching) and together with pimples or rash.

Pruritus
Itching.

Pseudo-allergy
Reaction with symptoms like those of an allergy but with different (non-immunological) causes.

Rash
A skin eruption.

RAST
(Radioallergosorbent test) A technique for detecting IgEs antibodies specifically involved in certain allergic reactions (diagnostic test).

Rhinitis
Inflammation of the nasal mucosa, also known as 'coryza'.

Sensitisation
A mechanism by which the body becomes more sensitive to an agent (antigen) to which it was previously less sensitive.

Serum
A liquid part of the blood.

Sinusitis
inflammation of the membranes lining the facial sinuses, often caused by bacterial or viral infection, or allergic reaction

Squama
Lamella or tiny scales of skin which break off from the epidermis (skin surface).

Svmpatheticomimetic
Medicine which stimulates a specific part of the nervous system.

Theophylline
A medicine used to treat bronchial asthma (bronchodilator effect).

Trachea
the main airway (windpipe) supplying both lungs.

Urticaria
Skin disease characterised by a pimply rash, also called 'hives'.

Vaccine
Use of antigens to cause the body to produce antibodies (see 'desensitisation').

Wheezing
a high pitched whistling sound of air moving through narrowed airways