Allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to substances in the environment that are harmless for most people. These substances are known as allergens and are found in house dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, moulds, foods and some medicines. Atopy is the genetic (inherited) tendency to develop allergic diseases. People with atopy are said to be atopic.
When a person who is allergic to a particular allergen comes into contact with it, an allergic reaction occurs. This begins when the allergen (for example, pollen) enters the body, triggering an antibody response. The antibodies attach themselves to special cells, called mast cells. When the pollen comes into contact with the antibodies, the mast cells respond by releasing certain substances, one of which is called histamine. When the release of histamine is due to an allergen, the resulting swelling and inflammation is extremely irritating and uncomfortable.
Depending on the allergen and where it enters your body, you may experience different symptoms. For example, pollen, when breathed in through the nose, usually causes symptoms in the nose, eyes, sinuses and throat (allergic rhinitis).
Allergy to foods usually causes stomach or bowel problems, and may cause hives (urticaria).
Allergic reactions can also involve several parts of the body at the same time.
|Common Allergy Symptoms|
|Itching of the Nose||Frequent “Colds”|
|Recurrent Ear Infections||Recurrent Cough or Bronchitis|
|Chronic Sinus Infections||Dizziness|
|Dark Circles Under the Eyes|
|Itching, Watering, Redness or Swelling of the Eyes|
|Tightness in the Chest, Wheezing or Asthma|
|Eczema, Skin Rashes, Itching, or Hives|
Allergies exist in many different forms:
Anaphylaxis is a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic response that is marked by swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure, and dilated blood vessels. In severe cases, a person will go into shock. If anaphylactic shock isn’t treated immediately, it can be fatal.
Finding out what you are allergic to is an important first step to effective allergy treatment. Today allergy tests are more convenient and accurate than ever before. When combined with a detailed medical history, allergy testing can identify the specific things that trigger your allergic reactions.
Allergy blood tests detect and measure the amount of allergen-specific antibodies in your blood. When you come into contact with an allergy trigger, known as an allergen, your body makes antibodies against it. Allergy blood tests usually screen for at least 10 of the most common allergy triggers, including dust, pet dander, trees, grasses, weeds, and molds related to where you live. They are also particularly helpful in diagnosing food allergies.
Allergy blood tests may be referred to as immunoassay tests and include:
Immunoglobulin E (IgE): IgE antibodies appear in human serum and plasma as a result of sensitization to a specific allergen. Measuring circulating IgE antibodies provides an objective assessment of sensitization to an allergen. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is an antibody that’s strongly linked to the body’s allergy response. Elevated concentrations of IgE are generally thought of in the context of allergic disease.
ImmunoCAP Phadiatop is a blood test designed to differentiate atopic from non-atopic patients. Quantifying IgE antibodies with ImmunoCAP Specific IgE accurately evaluates allergy patients. Using ImmunoCAP Complete Allergens or ImmunoCAP Allergen Components to determine the presence of IgE antibodies offers a broad range of allergens or allergen components to aid the reliable diagnosis of patients with suspected allergy.
In younger children aged 0-3, allergic sensitization is mostly related to food allergens (such as egg, milk, fish, soybean and peanut) rather than inhalant allergens. However, antibodies to inhalant allergens such as house dust mites and pets can still appear early in life. With this in mind, a combination of Phadiatop and the most common food allergens is recommended when testing children for atopy.
Phadiatop and Phadiatop Infant are assays for the graded determination of atopy with semiquantitative or qualitative results.
If something irritates you, avoid it. That’s the motto that allergy sufferers must adopt. By tuning into your allergy triggers, you can rein in your reactions