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Oct 19

repared by Dr. M. Yadav, Consultant Allergist of a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur. Dr. Yadav can be contacted at telephone number – 03-22828795

(Dr. M. Yadav was former Professor in Immunology in the Department of Genetics and Cellular Biology, Universiti Malaya. He has published over 200 research papers on various aspects of allergy and immunology in international journals. He has worked in many parts of the world and received several awards. He currently manages an allergy testing and diagnostic service at Pantai Medical Centre. His book entitled ‘Causal Triggers of Allergy and Asthma’ is expected to be released in 2004.
Here he explains the nature of allergy, what tests need to be performed to diagnose the trigger factors and how to manage the problem over long terms)

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What is allergy?
An allergy is an abnormal exaggerated physical reaction (with development of any of the following symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting, skin rashes, hives, sneezing, runny nose, asthma, chronic cough, joint pains, puffiness of the eye orbit or face, ear infection, anaphylaxis) to one or more substances called allergens that are harmless to most people. Skin, oral and nose allergy symptoms are associated with intense itch. Sources of common allergens that trigger the allergy symptoms include house dust mites, plant pollens (called hay-fever in temperate regions during spring/summer) mould spores, pet dander (skin scales from pets), foods (for example eggs, peanuts, cows milk, shrimps and many others), drugs (for example penicillin, sulphonamides), venom of stinging insects (for example mosquito bites, wasp sting, ant sting) perfumes (both naturally derived from flowers and artificially synthesized), and many others. Frequent exposure to the provoking allergen will trigger the development of allergy symptoms. Individuals with allergy often have a genetic predisposition with a strong family history of the disease.