ALLERGY

A

Allergic reaction
An aberrant immune response following repeated exposure to otherwise harmless substances such as animal dander, pollen, dust, mold spores, medications or foods.


Allergic rhinitis (seasonal and perennial) 
Inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes due to an allergic response to either indoor and/or outdoor allergens.


Allergic contact dermatitis (contact eczema) 
A type of itchy rash caused by an allergic reaction to specific chemical substances that come in contact with the skin. Dr Weissman has an  interest in the diagnosis and treatment of contact dermatitis and uses a greatly expanded panel of allergens from Smart Practice, Canada using the Allergeze method in order to improve diagnosis. Most doctors only use the T.R.U.E. patch test which has a limited amount of allergens.  In North America, the most common contact allergen is to the metal, specifically nickel sulfate, which is used in most jewelry.


Anaphylaxis 
A medical emergency which involves an acute systemic (affecting the entire body) allergic reaction. It occurs after exposure to an allergen to which a person was previously sensitized. This reaction can be life-threatening.


Angioedema 
A non-itching reaction in the skin's underlying tissue marked by swelling and red blotches, this often involves the face and hands. It can be very dramatic and even restrict breathing, similar in pathology to hives (urticaria), but occurs in deeper tissue.


Asthma 
A chronic, inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems. Episodes of asthma can be triggered by allergens, infection, exercise, cold air and other factors. This condition is becoming more common in both adults and pediatric patients.


Asthma in pregnancy 
Pregnant patients with asthma need close monitoring to maximize their lung function and minimize possible adverse effects to the fetus from lack of oxygen or medication reactions. They also need proper selection of medications during pregnancy.

B

Bronchitis 
An inflammation of the bronchi (lung airways), resulting in persistent cough. Bronchitis is more common in smokers and in areas with high air pollution.

D

Drug allergy 
An adverse immune reaction following contact with otherwise harmless drugs, usually manifested as a rash or other systemic complaints, up to and including anaphylaxis.

E

Eczema 
An inflammation of the skin, usually causing itching and sometimes accompanied by crusting, scaling or blisters. A type of eczema often made worse by allergen exposure is termed "atopic dermatitis". This condition is particularly common in pediatric patients.

F

Food Allergy 
An adverse immune reaction following contact with otherwise harmless foods, the manifestations of this reaction may range from mild to life-threatening. These reactions may be found in both children and adults.

I

R

Rhinitis 
An inflammation of the nasal passages, often due to an allergy to pollen, dust or other airborne substances. Seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as "hay fever", is a disorder characterized by sneezing, itching, runny nose accompanied by nasal congestion. Another common form of rhinitis; non-allergic rhinitis, or vasomotor rhinitis, is usually triggered by certain factors, such as strong smells, pollution, particulate matter in the air, smoke and other irritants.

S

Sinusitis 
An acute or chronic inflammatory condition of the sinuses, often caused by a bacterial or viral infection, which can be associated with chronic nasal allergies.

U

Urticaria (hives) 
An allergic reaction of the skin which is characterized by the development of itchy, raised welts, most often resembling mosquito bites.  There are many reasons why hives occur.  Allergy testing and a thorough history taking can be of great value in determining the cause of urticaria.

Immunodeficiency 
A range of disorders, both inherited and acquired, that result in the dysfunction of part or all of the normal immune response.

 

Insect hypersensitivity 
An adverse immune reaction following contact with insect stings (i.e. honeybees or yellow jackets). The manifestations of this reaction may range from mild to life-threatening.

O

Occupational asthma 
A respiratory disorder directly related to inhaling fumes, gases, dust or other potentially harmful substances while "on the job". With occupational asthma, symptoms of asthma may develop for the first time in a previously healthy worker, or pre-existing asthma may be aggravated by exposures within the work place.

 

Otitis media 
An inflammation or infection of the middle ear , commonly found in infants and children with allergic rhinitis.