Going to an Emergency Room for Allergies and Allergic Reactions
Despite the high number of us who claim to have allergic reactions, research from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that only one in five of us suffers from allergies annually. Still, allergies are number six cause of chronic diseases in the U.S.
While some of the allergies cause only mildly troublesome reactions some can be life-threatening requiring one to seek immediate emergency care.
How allergic reactions occur
The job of your immune system is to recognize foreign materials in your body and notify the body resources to get rid of them. While most substances that enter the body are harmless, some individuals with an allergic reaction towards such a substance will have a reaction. Exposure to an allergen in such a person will see the body react sometimes in a very violent manner. This will be seen in terms of the symptoms or signs provided by the body when that person is exposed to the allergen. The severity of the reaction will tell you if you need emergency care or not.
People can be allergic to almost everything. However, some substances are commonly known to cause allergies including.
- Food allergies
Most people are allergic to some food. In case of a true food allergy, the person will get an immune response once they eat the food. The allergic reaction might be in form of swelling in the airway or a rash. Common food allergies include milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, fish, and soy among others.
- Seasonal allergies
These are allergies caused by different substances occurring in different seasons. For instance, pollen and dust are common seasonal allergens. Other substances include grass or oak. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollens and grains that occur during a certain season.
- Insect allergies
An allergic reaction due to a sting from a bee, wasp, fire ants or hornets will be characterized by very severe symptoms such as swelling of the eyes, lips, and tongue. You might also experience itching, difficulty breathing, severe numbness, lack of consciousness, dizziness, or cramping. These symptoms might require you to visit the nearest health facility.
- Animal allergies
Pets such as cats and dogs often release dander that leads to allergic reactions in some people.
- Medication allergies
Some medications such as penicillin can cause an allergic reaction in some patients. Symptoms in such cases include nausea, dizziness, hives, and even difficulty breathing.
- Chemical allergies
If you are allergic to some chemicals, your body might trigger a reaction if you are exposed to some shampoos, perfumes, cleaning agents, detergents, or creams.
When To Seek ER Care
Common allergic reactions include skin redness, itching, hives, or scaling. Others will complain of chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing. Another common reaction is a rapid heart rate, itching and watering of the eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing, sore throats, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea among others.
One might wonder when one should seek emergency care in case of allergic reactions. We recommend that whenever you have a severe and sudden reaction then it is advisable you seek immediate emergency care.
The severe allergic reaction might be a sign of anaphylaxis. This rapid, severe, and life-threatening allergic reaction can cause death without proper medical care. In case of anaphylaxis, the patient will suffer from common allergic reactions accompanied by:
- A cough, difficult, or irregular breathing
- Itchy throat or mouth and difficulty swallowing
- Hives, itchiness, or skin redness
- Nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Heart palpitations, dizziness, mental confusion, chest discomfort, lower blood pressure, fainting, and a rapid pulse
Anaphylaxis most common sign is difficulty breathing caused by low blood pressure and swelling of the airwaves. The treatment for this allergic reaction is a dose of epinephrine, which is a drug that causes the constriction of the blood vessels. This raises the blood pressure. Some patients that have experienced anaphylaxis before will have an Epi-Pen, which is a syringe with a dose of epinephrine with them. They will administer the drug themselves or ask you to help them administer it as they wait for medical help.
If you note any of the stated severe allergic reactions in your loved ones, do not take a wait and see measure. Even if the person feels better after an epinephrine injection, you still need to rush the person to an emergency room. This is to ensure the symptoms do not come back after the reaction. Sometimes the symptoms can come back even stronger after several hours. This is referred to as biphasic anaphylaxis. The ER medical personnel will monitor the patient and provide additional medications ensuring the allergic symptoms are under control.
Why visit Frontline ER
Many allergic reactions can be managed with the right medical care. However, for the more severe ones you need to visit the ER especially if you suspect anaphylaxis. At Frontline ER, we have locations near you in Richmond and Dallas Texas to ensure you get to us in time.
With almost zero waiting time, we ensure you get the care you need to stop the severe allergic reaction. Our board-certified and experienced physicians will treat you with great care and ensure you go home when the allergic symptoms are under control.