Indoor Allergens Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Indoor Allergens article.

Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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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 di...

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

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Angioedema: Like hives but affects deeper skin layer.

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

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Asthmatic: 1. Pertaining to asthma as, for example, asthmatic bronchitis.
...

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Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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

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

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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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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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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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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Dandruff: A scalp condition that produces white flakes that may be shed and fall from the ...

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Decongestant: A drug that shrinks the swollen membranes in the nose, making it easier for ...

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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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Dry mouth: The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is due to...

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Dust mite: A tiny microscopic organism that is the primary cause of allergies related to h...

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

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Guinea pig: 1.Cavia porcellus, also known as Cavia cobaya, a plump rodent native to...

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

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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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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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Immunocompromised: Having an immune system that has been impaired by disease or medical tr...

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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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Informatics: The application of computers and statistics to the management of information....

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Internal medicine: The medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment ...

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

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Leukotriene: One of a group of chemicals produced by the body that accompanies inflammatio...

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Mast cell: A granulocyte found in connective tissue whose normal function is unknown but t...

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Mite: A tiny eight-legged creature belonging to the Order Acarina related to spiders and t...

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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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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

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

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PA-C: Physician Assistant - Certified.

Pediatrics: The field of medicine that is concerned with the health of infants, children, ...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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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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Public health: The approach to medicine that is concerned with the health of the community...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Rhinitis: Irritation of the nose.

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

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Saliva: a watery secretion in the mouth produced by the salivary glands that aids in the d...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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

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

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary