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**Common Allergens and Types**:
– Allergens can be found in dust mite excretion, pollen, pet dander, royal jelly, nickel sulfate, Balsam of Peru, fragrance mix I, quaternium-15, and neomycin.
– Food allergies are less common than food sensitivity, with peanuts, nuts, seafood, and shellfish being common triggers.
– The FDA recognizes major food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, shellfish, fish, wheat, soy, sesame, and sulfites.
– Urushiol from poison ivy and oak, as well as certain trees and wood products, can cause allergic reactions.
– Seasonal allergies are linked to specific times of the year, such as spring, summer, or fall.
– Grass allergies are associated with hay fever and can cause symptoms like rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis.
– Genetics play a role in the likelihood of experiencing seasonal allergies.

**Diagnosis and Impact of Allergies**:
– Doctors diagnose seasonal allergies based on symptoms, evaluations, and physical exams.
– Blood tests and skin tests are commonly used to determine the cause of allergies.
– Allergies can develop as a defense mechanism against parasites, according to research.
– Climate change is worsening allergy triggers, with 16 U.S. states identified as Allergen Hotspots due to increased tree pollen.
– Seasonal allergies are a major trigger for asthma, affecting up to 75% of asthmatics in Canada.
– Allergies can cross-react with food proteins, leading to new types of allergies.
– Extreme allergies and Global Warming report highlights the negative impact of climate change on allergy sufferers.

**Laboratory Tests and Treatment**:
– Nasal smear examined for increased eosinophils.
– Blood tests for IgE levels like RAST and EAST.
– Imaging tests for sinusitis detection.
– Nasal endoscopy for examining nasal structure.
– Used when skin tests are not feasible.
– Over-the-counter medications available.
– Antihistamines for nasal symptoms.
– Nasal decongestants like pseudoephedrine.
– Allergy shots and alternative medicine options.
– Immunotherapy for specific long-term tolerance.

**Fungal Allergens**:
– Basidiospores identified as airborne allergens.
– Linked to seasonal asthma.
– Major source of airborne allergens.
– Include mushrooms, rusts, smuts, brackets, and puffballs.
– Rainfall increases fungal spore release.

**Immunotherapy and Related Topics**:
– Sublingual immunotherapy is used to address allergen-specific immune responses.
– Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a practice utilized in managing food allergies.
– Allergy shots, also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy, are a treatment option.
– Immunotherapy plays a crucial role in desensitizing individuals to allergens.
– Understanding immune mechanisms is essential for effective allergy treatment.
– Related Topics: Asthma, Bioaerosol, Eczema, Hypoallergenic, Oral allergy syndrome.

Allergen (Wikipedia)

An allergen is a type of antigen that produces an abnormally vigorous immune response in which the immune system fights off a perceived threat that would otherwise be harmless to the body. Such reactions are called allergies.

In technical terms, an allergen is an antigen that is capable of stimulating a type-I hypersensitivity reaction in atopic individuals through immunoglobulin E (IgE) responses. Most humans mount significant Immunoglobulin E responses only as a defense against parasitic infections. However, some individuals may respond to many common environmental antigens. This hereditary predisposition is called atopy. In atopic individuals, non-parasitic antigens stimulate inappropriate IgE production, leading to type I hypersensitivity.[citation needed]

Sensitivities vary widely from one person (or from one animal) to another. A very broad range of substances can be allergens to sensitive individuals.

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