By their very nature, allergic and immunologic disorders are systemic, and their effects manifest in many organ systems, including the structures of the head, neck, and upper airway. The disorders that are discussed in this chapter are the consequence of the generation of allergen-specific IgE antibodies, generally to inhaled allergen. Additionally, there are a number of disorders that clinically mimic IgE-mediated processes, and their pathophysiology, recognition, and treatment are also included here.
In most instances, IgE-mediated processes are expressed in the eye, nose, upper and lower airways, and skin. They are the underlying processes for the disorders known as allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinosinusitis, asthma, urticaria/angioedema, and anaphylaxis. In this chapter, we focus on the effects of IgE-mediated processes on the nose and upper airway, including rhinosinusitis and angioedema and those processes that might be confused with them.
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