What Does Hypersensitivity Mean?


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Arun Raj answered
The word "hypersensitivity" means excessively sensitive. A state of hypersensitivity is often used to show a state of acute sensitivity to allergens. A person who is biologically hypersensitive is susceptible to allergic reactions.

The examples of hypersensitivity are allergies which can take the form of sinus problems, runny nose, asthma, hives, skin allergies etc. The body of an animal or a human being has a tendency to respond to an antigen or a foreign body by producing antibodies against it. Sometimes under particular physiological conditions (for example, a dusty area), or in people who are allergic with a sensitive immune system, a heightened immune response can cause the damage of cells. In other words, if a person is allergic to dust and is exposed to an area full of dust or pollen grains, his body can trigger a heightened immune response, which can disrupt the cells and cause sinus problems. Histamine or the substance released from the damaged cells results in the dilation of little blood vessels, inflammation of the tissue and constriction of the bronchi in the lungs.

One of the extreme examples of hypersensitivity is the fatal condition called Anaphylaxis which is caused by a hypersensitive response to serum and drugs to which a person has been sensitized earlier. These kinds of hypersensitive reactions can be treated by epinephrine and similar drugs under medical prescription. Antihistamines are drugs that stop histamine from acting on blood vessels, the lungs and other organs. Hypersensitive people also receive injections of antigenic material to which they are sensitive.

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