What is allergy?
Allergy is a ‘hypersensitivity’ reaction, or exaggerated ‘sensitivity’ to substances that are normally tolerated. Such substances are known as allergens. Examples of common allergens include peanuts, house dustmites, grass pollen, cats and medicines.
These allergens trigger the production of a harmful antibody known as immunoglobulin E (IgE). In an allergic reaction, the interaction between the IgE and the allergen causes the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine and leukotrienes. In turn, these cause symptoms such as sneezes and itches, rashes, falls in blood pressure and airway narrowing, which leads to difficulty breathing. Sometimes symptoms are caused by other mechanisms where IgE is not involved.
Allergies treated at Swedish Specialist Hospital
Below are the allergies that are treated at Swedish Specialist Hospital:
- Asthma, hay fever and allergic rhinitis
- Food allergies
- Allergies to penicillin, other antibiotics and drugs
- Wasp and bee anaphylaxis, urticaria and angio-oedema, anaphylaxis
- Skin tests, challenges and desensitisation.