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    Top Allergy Terms

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    Latex: Also known as rubber or natural latex, this milky fluid comes from the rubber tree. It’s used in a number of everyday products, like rubber gloves and rubber bands.

    Latex allergy : An allergy that shows up after you come into contact with latex.

    Mast cell: A type of white blood cell that’s part of an allergic reaction. These cells release chemicals like histamine.

    Metered dose inhaler (MDI): This small aerosol canister in a plastic container that releases a burst of medication when you press down from the top. Many asthma drugs are taken using an MDI.

    Mold: This common allergy trigger is a parasitic, microscopic fungi that floats in the air like pollen. You can find it in damp areas, like basements or bathrooms, as well as in grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch, or under mushrooms.

    Mold count: See Pollen and mold counts.

    Myringotomy: An outpatient procedure in which your doctor inserts small metal or plastic tubes through your eardrum to equalize pressure between the middle and outer ear.

    Nasal endoscopy: A test that lets your doctor see in your nasal cavity. It can help him spot polyps or other problems.

    Nasal sprays: Medication used to prevent or treat nasal symptoms. Some are prescription-only, others you can get over-the-counter. They come in decongestant, antihistamine, corticosteroid, or salt-water solution form. A mast cell (see above) stabilizer form is also available.

    Otitis media :  This infection affects the middle ear (the space behind your eardrum). It can be bacterial or viral.

    Otolaryngologist: A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating a variety of disorders of the ear, nose, and throat.

    Otoscope: This lighted tool lets the doctor see far down into your outer ear canal.

    Pneumatic otoscope: This tool blows a puff of air into your ear canal to test eardrum movement.

    Pollen: A fine, powdery substance released by plants.

    Pollen and mold counts: A measure of the amount of allergens in the air. The counts are usually reported for mold spores and three types of pollen: grasses, trees, and weeds. The count is reported as grains per cubic meter of air and is translated into a level: absent, low, medium, or high.

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