What to Do If You Have an Allergic Reaction
Anaphylaxis, or a severe allergic reaction, is a condition that has the potential to be fatal, and it should be treated as an emergency. You should be able to recognize its symptoms and know how to treat it immediately.
Not everyone who experiences anaphylaxis will exhibit the same symptoms or signs. The symptoms and signs can also vary with each episode of anaphylaxis that one person may have. It is important to know that the speed with which these indications appear after someone has been in contact with an allergen can also vary. They can progress within mere seconds or take at least an hour to develop fully.
Typical symptoms of allergic reactions may include:
- Digestive complications, such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting
- Breathing difficulties
- Itchy mouth or throat
- Itchiness of the skin
- Runny nose
- Heart palpitations
- Difficulty swallowing
- Increased pulse rate
- Lowered blood pressure
- Tightness or discomfort in the chest
- Loss of consciousness
What to Do in Emergencies
If someone is experiencing anaphylaxis, you should call 911. While you wait for help to arrive, remember these helpful tips:
- Sufferers of a severe allergy may already have injectable epinephrine on hand.
- CPR may be necessary if the person in anaphylaxis is no longer breathing or moving. This entails conducting chest presses at a rate of 100 presses per minute until the person begins breathing again or professional help has arrived.
- If someone is having difficulty breathing, do not administer any liquids or allergy medicine that has to be taken by mouth. Also, avoid placing a pillow underneath his or her head.
- The onset of shock may be avoided by lying down with one’s feet elevated about one foot and being covered by a blanket.
Non-Emergency Allergic Reactions
When an allergic reaction is not life threatening, there are some treatments you can use to be more comfortable:
- Over-the-counter medication such as antihistamines can block the histamine receptors that produce hives, itchy and watery eyes and an irritated throat. Topical creams containing corticosteroids may be able to reduce the redness, swelling and itchiness that may occur in the skin. Decongestants can clear a runny nose and stop the excessive production of mucus.
- While epinephrine is generally for emergencies, if you know that you have been exposed to an allergen that can cause anaphylaxis, you can take the medicine before the onset of serious symptoms.
Medical attention should be sought if any allergy symptoms become severe or if multiple parts or systems of the body are affected, and you should get to an urgent care center where you can receive the medical treatment that will relieve your symptoms. At PrimeCare Urgent Care, we offer the wide range emergency medical services that you may need. Subscribe to our blog to get more tips and information on medical care.