While allergies are usually cursed as annoying, they are far from being a trivial inconvenience for many people. Allergies can dampen one’s mood, affect one’s quality of life, and weaken the immune system. In severe cases, allergy reactions can even be life-threatening.
It stands to reason that anyone with allergies should have a plan for what to do when they experience an allergy attack. Here, we will talk about the ways to respond to an allergic reaction and make the symptoms go away fast.
Antihistamines are the longest-established medications for allergies. They are a class of drugs whose mechanism of action involves blocking histamine, a substance produced by the body during an allergic reaction.
For oral antihistamines, here’s the proper and safe way to take them:
- With food or a glass of water – This is to prevent stomach irritation.
- Swallow them whole – Do not break, chew, or crush them before you take them.
- Do not wait for your symptoms to worsen – Take them when you experience the warning signs.
Get a Puff of Your Rescue Inhaler
If you have allergic asthma, it pays to always have a rescue inhaler with you. A rescue inhaler is a handheld device that contains a short-acting beta agonist (SABA), such as albuterol or levalbuterol. When inhaled, the medication quickly relaxes the muscles that surround your airways, thereby dilating them and allowing for easier breathing.
Make sure to shake the inhaler well before each use. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth to make it fit past your teeth. Close your lips around it. Start inhaling deeply and slowly through your mouth while pressing down on top of the canister with your thumb (this releases medication into your lungs). Try to hold your breath for 10 seconds to allow the medicine to stay in your lungs. Lastly, slowly exhale through puckered lips.
It’s important to note that how long you have to wait in between puffs depends on the type of medication you’re using. To be sure, ask your allergy doctor.
Use Epinephrine Auto-Injector
Epinephrine auto-injectors, also called EpiPens, are devices that deliver a measured dose of epinephrine, a hormone that promotes vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels) and opens airways in the lungs.EpiPens are used to treat severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
Your allergy doctor may recommend that you keep an EpiPen handy if you have food or a stinging insect allergy.
To use an EpiPen, remove the cap and place the orange tip against your outer thigh muscle at a 90-degree angle. Once in place, push down on the plunger until it clicks to release all of the medication. Hold in place for 10 seconds before removing. Seek prompt medical attention if necessary.
Allergic Reaction Treatment in Downers Grove, Naperville, Elmhurst, or Plainfield, IL
At Oak Brook Allergists, our board-certified allergy doctors have made it their mission to help the men, women, and children in the communities we serve break free from coughing fits, sneezing attacks, wheezes, itch, and the many other problems associated with allergies.
After a thorough assessment, we can develop a suitable treatment plan, which can include immunotherapy – a form of long-term, preventive treatment that works by retraining your body to build a tolerance to the allergen until it no longer launches an immune response in the event of exposure.