What is Allergen and Definition

A harmless substance, also called a hapten, that causes an exaggerated response from the immune system called a hypersensitivity reaction. For reasons researchers do not fully understand, the immune system produces antibodies for the substance that result in the immune response perceiving the substance as a foreign invader. When the allergen contacts or enters the body, the antibodies attack it.

Nearly any substance can be an allergen. desensitization is a treatment for allergies that exposes the person to progressive doses of the allergen to increase the body’s tolerance for the presence of the allergen and diminish the hypersensitivity reaction.

Common Allergens

COMMON ALLERGENS
almonds animaldanderaspirin (salicylates)
bee stingscashewscockroaches
dust and dust miteseggsfish
fragrances and perfumesfungigrasses
lanolinlatexmilk
moldsnickelpeanuts
pecanspenicillinpollens
shellfishsmokestrawberries
SOYsulfawheat

See also ALLERGYALLERGY TESTINGANAPHYLAXISANTIBODYANTIGENASTHMALIVING WITH ALLERGIESMULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY SYNDROME.

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