Skip to content

Allergies Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Allergy and Allergies Glossary

Allergen. A foreign substance the body perceives as harmful, triggering an allergic reaction.

Allergist. A doctor who specializes in the treatment of allergy-related conditions.

Recommended Related to Allergies

Relief for Allergies at School

Help your child manage allergies at school with these tips. Help Kids Claim Their Fame: Kids with allergies or asthma can excel in sports. But they won't have stamina if allergies are uncontrolled. Make sure kids take medications! Circle of Support: Help kids get support at school. Meet with teachers, the nurse, and the coach to discuss the child's allergies or asthma. Develop a game plan. Game Plan: Give the school nurse an "allergy card" with critical details -- your child's allergy...

Read the Relief for Allergies at School article > >

Anaphylaxis . A life-threatening medical emergency. It is a severe allergic reaction involving the entire body, most frequently the respiratory system, making it difficult to breathe. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention.

Antihistamines . These drugs block histamine -- a chemical the body releases during an allergic reaction -- reducing symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and runny nose.

Anti-inflammatory drugs. Medications that reduce the symptoms of inflammation, such as pain, swelling, and redness.

Bronchodilator medication. These drugs relax tight muscles around lung airways, making it easier to breathe.

Bronchitis . An inflammation of the lung airways. Symptoms include a persistent cough and phlegm. Bronchitis is usually seen in smokers and in places with high air pollution. It can also be caused by infection, both viral and bacterial.

Corticosteroids. Steroid containtin anti-inflammatory drugs that treat the itching and swelling associated with some allergic reactions.

Decongestants . Medications that shrink swollen nasal membranes, decreasing congestion and mucus, making it easier to breathe.

Elimination diet. A diet that first eliminates foods suspected of causing an allergic reaction, then reintroduces them one at a time so the offending food can be found.

Epinephrine . A medication used to immediately treat severe allergic reactions. Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, relaxes tightened muscles around the airways, improving breathing.

HEPA. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA). A HEPA filter removes airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger by pushing them through screens with microscopic pores.

Histamine. A chemical released by the immune system after it's exposed to an allergen. Histamine causes allergy symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and itching.

Hypoallergenic. Products designed to contain as few allergens as possible.

Immunotherapy. Commonly called allergy shots, a series of increasing exposures to an allergen (usually by injection but drops may also be placed under the tongue) designed to raise your tolerance to an allergen such as pollen, dander, or insect stings, and even some foods. The FDA has also approved under-the-tongue immunotherapy tablets that treat hay fever.

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

blowing nose
Article
woman with sore throat
Article
 
lone star tick
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

cat lying on shelf
Article
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Assessment
Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching
Quiz