An allergic reaction can range from mild to severe. Anyone who has allergies or who has a loved one with allergies should understand the typical stages of an allergic reaction, as this can enable you to properly respond to the incident and foster a healthy outcome.
Let’s talk about the stages of allergic reactions, and where you can go in northeastern Illinois and the Chicagoland area for outstanding allergy care.
#1: Exposure to the Allergen
Allergens can be inhaled, eaten, or touched; they can also enter the body through a cavity or via a bite. Examples are dust, pollen, wheat, dairy, cleaning chemicals, smoke, or pollution. Once the allergen has entered your body, the reaction could occur in just a matter of seconds.
#2: Early Allergic Reaction
If you are allergic to a given allergen, it is because your immune system misinterprets the material as a foreign invader that is trying to attack the body. Your body then launches a response to get rid of or kill the allergen, so the immune cells – the mast cells and basophils – release histamines and other mediators that make the capillaries permeable for the white blood cells to attack the invader.
However, the overreaction causes inflammation, which can lead to:
- Allergic rhinitis
Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening. In an anaphylactic reaction – also called anaphylactic shock – the blood pressure drops, the muscles in the lungs become constricted, and the airways become blocked due to swelling. Call 911 right away if you or your loved one is experiencing sudden breathing problems.
#3: Late Allergic Reaction
A late allergic reaction may be preceded by an early allergic reaction, or your body may not react at all until hours after exposure to the allergen. This late reaction generally reaches its peak six to nine hours after exposure to the allergen.
These later symptoms can include skin redness, pain, warmth, swelling, or labored breathing. The symptoms usually go away in a day or two. A late reaction is due to the mast cells continuing to attract inflammatory cells, such as basophils and lymphocytes, thereby causing delayed inflammation.
Allergy Doctor in Oak Brook, IL
If you or a loved one suffers from allergies, you don’t have to live with the discomfort and uncertainty. An allergy doctor can help you control your allergy symptoms so you can live unhindered by your allergies.
Our board-certified allergy doctors at Oak Brook Allergists treat adult and pediatric patients who are suffering from issues such as hay fever, asthma, skin allergy, food allergy, and insect bite allergies. Since 1962, we have provided top-notch care to the people of northeastern Illinois.
Oak Brook Allergists has four locations in which to serve you – Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, and Plainfield – and we have extended and weekend hours for your convenience. We want to make sure that anyone who is seeking relief from allergies is able to get an appointment with us. To schedule a consultation, call us at (630) 574-0460 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner in tamping down your allergies!