Definition and Types of Allergens

  • Allergens are antigens that cause an immune response in the body, resulting in allergies.
  • Types of allergens include dust mite excretion, pollen, pet dander, royal jelly, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, fish, wheat, soy, sesame, sulfites, mustard, gluten-containing cereals, celery, lupin, urushiol, poison ivy, poison oak, various trees and wood products.
  • Allergens can cause symptoms such as asthma, skin rash, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and throat irritation.
  • Sensitivities to allergens vary from person to person.
  • Different countries have different official allergen lists due to genetic profiles and exposure levels.

Common Allergens

  • Nickel sulfate, Balsam of Peru, fragrance mix I, quaternium-15, and neomycin are common allergens.
  • Seasonal allergies are often caused by tree and grass pollens.
  • Grass allergy symptoms include rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, tickling sensation in the mouth or throat, coughing, wheezing, irritability, headaches, and sinus congestion.
  • Seasonal allergies have a higher risk if both parents have allergies.
  • Mast cells release histamines in response to allergens, leading to allergic reactions.

Seasonal Allergy Diagnosis

  • Doctors diagnose seasonal allergies based on symptoms, evaluation, and physical exams.
  • Two tests, blood test and skin test, are conducted to determine the cause of the allergy.
  • Skin tests can be done by applying purified liquid allergens and pricking the skin or injecting allergens under the skin.
  • Diagnosis helps identify the main cause of the allergic reaction.
  • Treatment recommendations are provided based on the diagnosis.

Allergies and Parasite Defense

  • Research suggests that allergies may have evolved as a defense mechanism against parasites.
  • Protease allergens cleave sensor proteins that detect proteases produced by parasitic worms.
  • Allergies may be a result of the immune system's response to fight off parasites.
  • Yale University Immunologist Ruslan Medzhitov supports the theory of allergies as a defense mechanism.
  • Allergies and their triggers may worsen due to climate change.

Allergies and Asthma

  • Seasonal allergies are one of the main triggers for asthma.
  • Cold, flu, cigarette smoke, exercise, and seasonal allergies can trigger asthma attacks.
  • Up to 75% of asthmatics in Canada also have seasonal allergies.
  • Global warming can worsen allergenic tree pollen, leading to increased asthma attacks.
  • Extreme allergies and global warming are interconnected, impacting millions of asthmatics.

Allergen Data Sources

Reference URL
Knowledge Graph