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Global Warming Prolongs Allergy Season

What is Allergy?

The word allergy means “altered working.” It was coined at the beginning of the twentieth century, after dogs inoculated with proteins from other animals had severe reactions when they came into contact with those proteins again.

Allergies are responses mounted by the immune system to a particular food, inhalant, or chemical. In a simplified sense, an allergic reaction is an adverse or inappropriately amplified immune system response to something that many other people find harmless.

Most commonly, an allergic reaction expresses itself as a headache or fatigue, and may include

  • sneezing,
  • watery eyes,
  • nasal congestion.

More severe allergic reactions, such as those to certain nuts, fish, and insect stings are known as anaphylaxis and are characterized by:

  • the swelling of tissue and
  • the inability to breathe.

These reactions may need to be treated as serious medical emergencies. A synthetic epinephrine, a hormone naturally produced by the adrenal gland, may be administered to combat the reaction. People with severe allergies should carry epinephrine pens in case of accidental exposure to the allergen.

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8 comments - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - April 3, 2010 at 9:09 am

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