Hypersentivity - Overactive Immune Response
Some of the individuals are very sensitive to some particles present in the environment. The exaggerated response of the immune system to certain antigens present in the environment is called allergy (allo-altered, erg-reaction). The substances to which such an immune response is produced are called allergens. An allergen is an antigen that causes an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions begin within few seconds after the contact with the allergen and last about half an hour. The common examples of allergens are mites in dust, pollens and some proteins in insect venom. Hay fever and asthma are some common examples of allergy. Symptoms of allergic reactions include sneezing, watery eyes, running nose and difficulty in breathing. Allergy is a form of over active immune response mediated by IgE and mast cells. It can also be due to the release of chemicals like histamine and serotonin from the mast cells.
Anaphylaxis is the classical immediate hypersensitivity reaction. It is a sudden, systematic, severe and immediate hypersensitivity reaction occurring as a result of rapid generalized mast-cell degranulation.