Allergic reactions are sensitivities to compounds called allergens that enter contact with the skin, nose, eyes, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract. They can be breathed into the lungs, swallowed, or injected.
Understanding of Allergic Reactions
Allergies are common. The immune response that causes an allergy resembles the reaction that causes hay fever. Most reactions occur soon after contact with an irritant.
Lots of allergic reactions are mild, while others can be severe and life threatening. They can be restricted to a small area of the body, or they may affect the whole body. The most severe kind is called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. Allergies happen more often in people who have a family history of allergies.
Compounds that don’t trouble most people (such as venom from bee stings and particular foods, medications, and pollens) can set off allergies in specific people.
Novice direct exposure may produce just a moderate reaction. Repetitive direct exposures may lead to more serious responses. As soon as an individual has had a direct exposure or an allergic reaction (is sensitized), even a really restricted direct exposure to a really percentage of allergen can trigger a severe response.
A lot of severe allergic reactions occur within seconds or minutes after exposure to the allergen. Some responses can take place after several hours, especially if the allergen causes a reaction after it has been eaten. In really unusual cases, reactions develop after 24 hours.
Anaphylaxis is a sudden and severe allergy that takes place within minutes of exposure. Immediate medical attention is required for this condition. Without treatment, anaphylaxis can get worse very quickly and lead to death within 15 minutes.
Causes of Allergic Reactions
Typical allergens consist of:
- Animal dander
- Bee stings or stings from other insects
- Foods, particularly nuts, fish, and shellfish
- Insect bites
Symptoms of Allergic Reactions
Common symptoms of a mild allergy include:
- Hives (especially over the neck and face).
- Nasal blockage.
- Watery, red eyes.
Symptoms of a moderate or severe reaction include:
- Abdominal pain.
- Abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds.
- Chest discomfort or tightness.
- Problem breathing, wheezing.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Flushing or inflammation of the face.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue.
Main Signs of Food Allergies and Food Intolerance
First Aid for Allergic Reactions
For a mild to moderate response:.
Calm and assure the person having the response. Stress and anxiety can make symptoms even worse.
Aim to recognize the irritant and have the person prevent additional contact with it.
- If the person develops an itchy rash, use cool compresses and a non-prescription hydrocortisone cream.
- Watch the individual for signs of increasing distress.
- Get medical assistance. For a moderate reaction, a health care supplier may suggest over the counter medications, such as antihistamines.
For a severe allergy (anaphylaxis):
Check the individual’s airway, breathing, and flow (the ABC’s of Basic Life Support). An alerting sign of unsafe throat swelling is a very hoarse or whispered voice, or coarse noises when the person is taking in air. If needed, begin rescue breathing and CPR.
- Call 911.
- Calm and assure the individual.
- If the allergic reaction is from a bee sting, scrape the stinger off the skin with something firm (such as a fingernail or plastic credit card). Do not use tweezers– squeezing the stinger will launch more venom.
- If the individual has emergency situation allergic reaction medicine on hand, help the person take or inject the medicine. Prevent oral medication if the person is having difficulty breathing.
- Take steps to prevent shock. Have the individual lie flat, raise the person’s feet about 12 inches (30 centimeters), and cover them with a coat or blanket. Do not put the person in this position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected or if it causes discomfort.
If a person is having an allergic reaction:
- Do not assume that any allergic reaction shots the individual has actually currently received will offer complete security.
- Do not put a pillow under the individual’s head if he or she is having trouble breathing. This can block the air passages.
- Do not provide the person anything by mouth if the person is having trouble breathing.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Require medical assistance (911) right away if:
- The person is having a severe allergic reaction. Do not wait to see if the response is becoming worse.
- The person has a history of severe allergies (look for a medical ID tag).
Allergic Reactions Prevention
To avoid allergic reactions:
- Prevent triggers such as foods and medications that have actually triggered an allergy in the past. Ask comprehensive concerns about components when you are gnawing from home. Thoroughly inspect active ingredient labels.
- If you have a child who is allergic to certain foods, introduce 1 new food at a time in small amounts so you can acknowledge an allergic reaction.
- People who have had major allergic reactions must wear a medical ID tag and bring emergency situation medications (such as a chewable type of Chlor-Trimeton and injectable epinephrine or a bee sting set) according to your company’s instructions.
- Do not use your injectable epinephrine on anybody else. They might have a condition (such as a heart problem) that might be intensified by this drug.
Last modified: January 7, 2017