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Home » Allergic Reactions

Allergic Reactions

The body’s immune system defends your body from invaders such as viruses and bacteria that mean you harm. In some cases, your immune system will defend against substances that typically don’t pose a threat to the human body. These substances are known as allergens, and when your body reacts to them, it causes an allergic reaction. Learning why these reactions happen can help keep you feeling better and keep allergic reactions under control.

Causes of allergic reactions:

  • Foods – particularly eggs, milk, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish
  • Animal dander
  • Dust mites
  • Bee stings
  • Certain medications such as penicillin
  • Insect bites
  • Mold
  • Plants and pollen
  • Latex or other material you touch

Symptoms of mild allergic reactions:

  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Hives (itchy red spots on the ski)
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Nasal congestion
  • Scratchy throat

Symptoms of severe allergic reactions:

  • Swelling in the face, tongue or eyes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping or pain
  • Dizziness (vertigo)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Diarrhea
  • Wheezing
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fear of anxiety
  • Pain or tightness in chest

Treatment for allergic reaction:

  • Antihistamines, such as Benadryl
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal sprays
  • Injection devices (prescribed) such as EpiPen
  • Inhaler (prescribed)
  • Allergy shots
  • Over-the-counter sinus medication

Seek emergency medical care if:

  • ANY sudden and severe allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis, which could result in death)
  • Inability to breathe
  • Swelling of the airway
  • Sudden and severe drop in blood pressure

A mild allergic reaction will have a good chance of recovery with appropriate treatment. A severe allergic reaction requires quick emergency care.