Allergic Reaction Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Allergic Reaction article.

Allergen: A substance that can cause an allergic reaction. Common allergens include ragwee...

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Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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Allergic rhinitis: Medical term for hay fever, an allergic reaction that mimics a chronic ...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Allergy shots: See Allergy desensitization.

Anaphylactic shock: A widespread and very serious allergic reaction. Symptoms include dizz...

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Anaphylaxis: Allergic reaction. In severe cases, this can include potentially deadly anap...

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Antibody: An immunoglobulin, a specialized immune protein, produced because of the introdu...

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Antigen: A substance that the immune system perceives as being foreign or dangerous. The b...

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Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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Atopic: A predisposition toward developing certain allergic hypersensitivity reactions. At...

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Atopic dermatitis: A skin disease characterized by areas of severe itching, redness, scali...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Bumps: The raised area of a bump or bruise results from blood leaking from these injured b...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic disease: A disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting...

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Corticosteroid: Any of the steroid hormones made by the outer portion (cortex) of the adre...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Dander: Tiny scales shed from human or animal skin or hair. Dander floats in the air, sett...

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Dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin, either due to an inherent skin defect, direct contac...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Digestive system: The system of organs responsible for getting food into and out of the bo...

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Dilation: The process of enlargement, stretching, or expansion. The word "dilatation" mean...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Eczema (dermatitis): A particular type of inflammatory reaction of the skin in which there...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Epinephrine: Also known as adrenaline. A substance produced by the medulla inside of the a...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Hay fever: A seasonal allergy to airborne particles characterized by itchy eyes, runny nos...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Histamine: A substance that plays a major role in many allergic reactions, dilating blood ...

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Hives: A raised, itchy area of skin that may be a sign of an allergic reaction. It can be ...

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Hoarseness: Hoarseness is a term referring to abnormal voice changes. Hoarseness may be ma...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

Immune response: Any reaction by the immune system. For example, poison ivy can cause an i...

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Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Immunoglobulin: A protein produced by plasma cells and lymphocytes and characteristic of t...

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Immunoglobulin E: A class of immunoglobulins that includes the antibodies that are importa...

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Immunology: The study of all aspects of the immune system, including its structure and fun...

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Immunotherapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune (defense) syst...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Iodine: An element in the diet that is essential for the manufacture of hormones by the th...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinc...

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Lips: Aside from the lips of the mouth, there are two pairs of lips at the entrance to the...

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Low blood pressure: Any blood pressure that is below the normal expected for an individua...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Mold: One of a large group of fungi that can proliferate on food or in moist areas. Househ...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Nasal polyps: Benign growths that originate in the mucous membranes lining the nasal passa...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Ointment: An oil-based preparation that is applied to the skin. Whereas an ointment has an...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pediatric: Pertaining to children.

Penicillin: The most famous of all antibiotics, named for the fungal mold Penicillium n...

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Poison: Any substance that can cause severe organ damage or death if ingested, breathed in...

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Poison ivy: Skin inflammation that results from contact with the poison ivy vine. Chemical...

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Pollen: Small, light, dry protein particles from trees, grasses, flowers, and weeds that m...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Probiotics: live microorganisms (usually bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microor...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. A rash can be caused by an underlying medical c...

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RAST: Radioallergosorbent test, an allergy test that is done on a sample of blood. RAST is...

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Referral: The recommendation of a medical or paramedical professional. If you get a refer...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Rhinitis: Irritation of the nose.

Runny nose: The production of extra mucus by the nose. Rhinorrhea is the medical term for ...

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Shock: In medicine, a critical condition that is brought on by a sudden drop in blood flow...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Sinus: 1. An air-filled cavity in a dense portion of a skull bone. The sinuses decr...

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Sore throat: Pain in the throat. Sore throat may be caused by many different causes, inclu...

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Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon struc...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stuffy nose: : The presence of increased secretions and mucus in the nasal passages, most ...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Unconscious: 1. Interruption of awareness of oneself and one's surroundings, lack ...

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Urticaria: Another name for hives. Raised, itchy areas of skin that are usually a sign of ...

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Vaccines: Microbial preparations of killed or modified microorganisms that can stimulate a...

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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Wheezing: A whistling noise in the chest during breathing. Wheezing occurs when the airway...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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Medical Dictionary