Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening reaction to an allergen that should be treated immediately. It can occur within seconds or minutes of being exposed to or consuming an allergen. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include hives or flushed and pale skin, a drop in blood pressure causing a weak and rapid pulse, tongue swelling and a sensation of the throat closing in, and difficulty breathing.
People who have severe reactions to an allergen may be at risk of anaphylaxis. It can happen anywhere, in the office, at a public gathering, or on your way home. If you are experiencing anaphylaxis, you need to act quickly to prevent the reaction from progressing.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis happens when the body releases a flood of chemicals after being exposed to an allergen. The reaction is felt throughout the body and could progress into shock, which can be fatal. This flood of chemicals causes the blood pressure to drop, airways to narrow, and the throat to become constricted. When the blood pressure drops low and the airway is blocked, without intervention, you will lose consciousness.
Educating yourself about your allergies and anaphylaxis is one of the best defenses you have against going into shock and a fatal outcome. Allergy testing is recommended to anyone with food, medication, and stinging insect allergies, which are the most common triggers of anaphylaxis, or those who have a history of severe reactions. You have to know your triggers and start planning from there. An allergy doctor can help with creating an anaphylaxis action plan, so you’ll know what to do the next time you have an anaphylactic reaction.
How To Treat Anaphylaxis
You have to be prepared for an anaphylactic reaction and act at the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction. An allergist can prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector, which you have to keep on hand at all times and be ready to spring into action at the first sign of an anaphylactic reaction.
An epinephrine auto-injector or Epipen contains epinephrine, which is adrenaline and prevents the progression of the allergic reaction. It will constrict the blood vessels and restore blood pressure to normal. Even with an Epipen, you will still need to seek emergency care after experiencing anaphylaxis for an evaluation. Complications resulting from the severe reaction will be treated. You will also be given more epinephrine to reduce inflammation, improve breathing, and receive supplemental oxygen to get your body the oxygen it needs. Patients who have a history of anaphylaxis should wear a medical ID bracelet to let others know of their allergies.
Anaphylaxis Management in Oak Brook, IL
For such a serious, life-threatening reaction, visit an allergist for the best anaphylactic action plan. At Oak Brook Allergists, we help patients take control of their allergic reactions through education and various treatment options. Anaphylaxis can make anyone feel anxious and want to avoid participating in many activities. With a diagnosis and long-term management plan, you can take back control of your life.
Our allergists treat adults and pediatric patients in our convenient locations throughout northeastern Illinois. To schedule an appointment, call our clinic today at (630) 574-0460 or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to providing you with the best allergy care in northeastern Illinois.