Allergy Relief Products Site - Glossary

An Additive is something that is added to a product, but which does not affect the product's performance. For instance, adding color to a Popsicle doesn't change the Popsicle's taste; therefore, color is an additive. For those with allergies, additives can be a real problem. Things like artificial color, dyes, fragrances, and preservatives are all potential allergens.
An Allergen is a normal substance that causes an acute defensive reaction in a person's immune system. Allergies can be triggered by eating, touching or breathing in an allergen. Allergies are often associated with asthma, especially in children. Common allergens are pet dander, smoke, and pollen, although the list of possible allergens is long and varied. When a person has a reaction to an allergen that person is said to be allergic to it.
Allergy is a broad term applied to disease symptoms following exposure to a previously encountered substance (allergen), often one which would otherwise be classified as harmless; essentially a malfunction of the immune system. In most cases, allergy involves an abnormally high, acquired sensitivity to certain substances, such as drugs, pollens or microorganisms, which may include such symptoms as sneezing, itching and skin rashes.
Anaphylactic Shock
Anaphylactic Shock is a unique form of allergic reaction. It's characterized by a swelling of body tissues including the throat, difficulty in breathing and a sudden fall in blood pressure. This type of allergic reaction is extremely dangerous and can be life threatening. If you experience this type of reaction, go immediately to your nearest hospital. If you have had this type of reaction previously, in a mild form, you should consider carrying an Epipen with you in order to be able to deliver a potentially life-saving dose of adrenaline to counteract the reaction, until you can get to a hospital.
Antihistamine refers to a variety of compounds that oppose the actions of histamine and are used especially for treating allergic reactions (as hayfever), cold symptoms, and motion sickness. Many antihistamines can be purchased at your pharmacy without a prescription.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease often arising from allergies that is characterized by sudden recurring attacks of labored breathing, chest constriction and coughing. The danger with asthma is that the chest constriction can result in lack of oxygen getting to the person's body and brain. Asthma can be life threatening if not managed correctly.
Bronchial Tubes
Bronchial tubes are the airways into the lungs. These airways branch from the trachea (windpipe). When a person has an asthma attack these airways may become constricted.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is the rate at which an air filtration unit delivers clean air back into a room. CADR is a standard of measurement that describes the number of cubic feet of clean air per minute an air cleaner can provide.
A Dehumidifier is a special device that removes water from the air to reduce humidity. It usually does this by moving the air over a surface that is colder than the air's temperature, which allows moisture to condense out. dehumidifiers can be useful tools for those with asthma or allergies.
Dust mites
Dust mites may be either of two mite species, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus or D. farinae, that feed on shed skin cells and produce excrement. This dust mite excrement is a common household allergen associated especially with asthma and respiratory allergies.
Fragrances are scents that are added to products. In many cases, fragrance is artificial. Artificial fragrances can often become allergens. If you have allergies, look for products that are fragrance free or which use hypoallergenic natural scents.
Filtration is the process of removing unwanted substances from air or water. Filtering the air can be a good strategy for those with inhalant allergies. Filtration can allow you to reduce the number of allergens or irritants in the air in your home or bedroom, in order to reduce your exposure to these substances.
Hayfever is an allergic condition affecting the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. It is most often characterized by nasal discharge, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. HayFever is generally caused by an abnormal sensitivity to airborne pollen.
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and the term is used to describe filters which have the capability of trapping extremely small particles, including those less than 1 micron in diameter. This represents an extremely high filtration capability. This level of filtration can be very helpful for those managing asthma or allergies. One of the best strategies is to keep away from allergens; this level of filtration can help you to do that.
Histamine is a compound made by the body. It is an amine, which is a type of protein that stimulates gastric secretions and dilates blood vessels. It is released by the human immune system during allergic reactions.
A Humidifier puts moisture back into dry air. Air that is too dry can irritate delicate nasal and air passages. If you have asthma, it can make you more prone to asthma attack. If you have allergies, it can compound your other allergic symptoms. This is where a humidifier can be helpful.
Hypoallergenic means that a substance has little likelihood of causing an allergic response. Note that it doesn't mean that the substance is allergy free. However, it does mean that your chances of reacting to the substance are usually less.
Immune system
The Immune system is the integrated body system of organs, tissues, cells and cell products, such as antibodies, that differentiate what is the organism from what is not. The immune system neutralizes potentially pathogenic organisms or substances.
Immunity is the condition of being able to resist a particular disease especially through preventing development of a condition or by counteracting the effects of a bacteria or other microorganism.
Inhalants are something that you inhale. It's as simple as that. Inhalants can be irritants (such as allergens). Inhalants can also be drugs that are delivered to the respiratory passages by a nebulizer or an aerosol container.
An Inhaler or metered dose inhaler (MDI) is a device used to deliver specialized allergy and asthma medications to the tissues of the lungs. It is called a "metered dose" inhaler because it is designed to deliver a specific dose of medication with each usage. It is a small L-shaped device, which the user puts into their mouth in order to pull the medication directly into the lungs on breathing in.
Inhalant Allergy
An Inhalant Allergy is an allergy to something that you can breathe in. Those with allergies to pollen can be described as having an inhalant.
Ionic Air Purifiers
Ionic Air Purifiers are relatively new technology. When operating, the ionic air purifier produces a "spray" of invisible negative ions from a small needle-like point usually located on the top. These negatively charged ions release into the room's air and naturally circulate. Your ionic unit produces a steady stream of negatively charged ions, which then attach themselves to surrounding positively charged airborne particles.
A Micron is a unit of length equal to one millionth (10-6) of a meter. Size in microns is used on this site to describe the size of extremely small particles, which can be irritants to sensitive lung tissue. The removal of very small particles is sometimes helpful for those with inhalant allergies and asthma.
Mildew is another name for common household black mold.
Mucus is a thick, jelly-like substance made by the respiratory organs of the body (such as the nose) that helps coat and protect the lining of the organ. Mucus is also produced by some parts of the digestive tract.
A Nebulizer is a device used to reduce a liquid to an extremely fine cloud, especially for delivering medication to the deep part of the respiratory tract. A nebulizer can be a very useful tool for those with asthma or allergies, where it is vital that the effective drugs for the condition be delivered directly to lung tissues.
OTC is a short-form for "over the counter", and it is used to refer to drugs which can be bought without a prescription. Perhaps you keep children's ibuprofen on hand for your child's fever. You might also have a bottle of aspirin or Tylenol for headaches. Perhaps you have something for heartburn in your medicine cabinet. These products are OTC pharmaceuticals, which you can buy without prescription for your family's use.
Ozone is a very reactive form of oxygen. It's formed naturally in the atmosphere by a photochemical reaction and is a major air pollutant in the lower atmosphere. Ozone can be used for oxidizing, bleaching, disinfecting and deodorizing.
Pollen is the fine powder like material that is produced by the anthers of seed plants. Pollen is comprised of the fine spores from a male flowering plant. Plants cannot produce seeds without the male and female plants each contributing genetic material. Pollen, floating on the wind or being carried from plant to plant by insects, assures the fertilization of female flowers, which will then produce seeds.
Pollutants are substances that pollute, especially a waste material that contaminates air, soil or water. Some pollutants can be triggers to an asthma attack. Other pollutants may also be allergens. In either case, the pollutant is an irritant for breathing. However, pollutants can also affect someone with skin allergies, if they come into contact with it.
Respiratory Tract
The Respiratory Tract includes the organs that are involved in breathing. These are the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs. The respiratory tract is also known as the respiratory system. The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, sinuses, pharynx (throat), and larynx (voice box). The lower respiratory tract includes the trachea (windpipe), bronchial tubes (two branches from the windpipe), bronchioles (smaller bronchial tubes, and alveoli (tiny sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs).
Seasonal allergies
Seasonal allergies are usually allergies that are related to pollen. Most seasonal allergy sufferers will display a group of symptoms, which could include runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and coughing as well as others. Hayfever is also a seasonal allergy.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses (hollow spaces in the bone of the cheeks and forehead) due to infection. Common symptoms of sinusitis include pain in the face, colored (not white or clear) secretions from the nose and headache. A lot of people who have asthma also have problems with recurrent sinusitis. There is some evidence that a flare-up of sinusitis can trigger a worsening of asthma symptoms, but this is still not certain.
Steroids are a class of drugs that are used to treat allergies. Steroids are not generally available without a prescription.
UV or ultraviolet light is a form of light that has been used for office lighting for many years. Over time, scientists have also found that this form of light has other uses, including uses in disinfection. Ultraviolet light has wavelengths shorter than other forms of light but longer than X-rays.
UV Air Cleaners
UV Air Cleaners are purifiers that use ultraviolet light. These units attach to your central air and heating system and use small mercury vapor lamps to generate UV waves that actually kill mold, bacteria, fungus, yeast and other airborne pollutants. The system cleans and sterilizes the entire home environment, including ducts and vents, and produces no odors or ozone emissions.
Advertiser Links for Allergy Relief [what's this?]

Search for allergy products

Allergy NewsAllergy Product ReviewsAir FiltersAir PurifiersAsthma Respiratory CareCarpet CleaningCleaning ProductsDehumidifiersDust MitesFood AllergiesHayfeverHumidifiersMoldPersonal Care for AllergiesPet Allergy ProductsSinus ProblemsSkin AllergiesVacuum CleanersAllergy Relief ProductsGlossary FAQ