Severe Allergic Reactions

Severe Allergic Reactions

When you experience a severe allergic reaction, particularly if you have any trouble breathing or swallowing, your skin begins to swell and break out in rashes, or your throat starts to close up, call for emergency medical assistance. Anaphylaxis is often caused by insect bites and stings (especially bees), food allergies and latex products like gloves. In anaphylactic shock (which can be fatal if left untreated), blood pressure drops dramatically and airways begin to tighten up making it difficult for oxygen intake. Epinephrine auto-injectors are recommended if you suffer from life-threatening allergies; it’s best not to attempt self-treatment with medication unless you have prior training in medical emergencies.

In extreme cases, if you’re unable to breathe because of an allergic reaction, go immediately to an emergency room. Try your best not to faint or lose consciousness, as you can choke on your own vomit or saliva. Also, be sure that someone with you knows where you are going and why. Most people have a plan in place for severe allergic reactions (including carrying antihistamines or EpiPens), but accidents happen and it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you suspect a severe reaction is coming on (redness/hives, swelling in eyes/mouth/throat), don’t wait—go now!

Anaphylaxis is one of many severe allergic reactions that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms, which can include difficulty breathing, a swollen tongue or throat, and a rapid heartbeat, typically develop within an hour after exposure to an allergen—but can sometimes appear in as little as 10 minutes. If you have any reason to suspect that you’re having an allergic reaction, visit your nearest emergency room. Your symptoms will be treated in a controlled environment and you’ll receive further treatment from qualified staff. Rarely does someone with a mild case of hives or bee stings need emergency care. However, if your symptoms are spreading or getting worse rapidly it may be time for you to visit an ER for help.

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