anaphylaxisAnaphylaxis is a hypersensitive reaction to a substance. When your body experiences a severe allergic reaction, it will go into anaphylactic shock. Most often, your body is prone to anaphylactic shock if it has endured the allergen before.

For example, if you are allergic to peanuts, your body gives you a warning sign the first time you eat peanuts. The second time you eat peanuts, your body’s reaction is more extreme and occurs faster because your immune system has become sensitized to it. In every severe allergy situation, time is of the essence. It is vital to administer the appropriate medicine and call 911 to help the person involved.

At Bluegrass Family Allergy, we want to help you make the best healthcare decisions. Call us today at 270-228-2811!

What Causes Anaphylaxis?

The most common causes of anaphylaxis are allergies to food, drugs, insect bites, and insect stings. In few cases, the allergen is never identified. This condition is called idiopathic anaphylaxis. However, your doctor will run extensive tests to rule out other common allergens and provide medicine to use in case of anaphylactic shock.

What are the Symptoms of Anaphylaxis?

If someone is having a severe allergic reaction, the effects of the allergy will occur within minutes and quickly become more severe. In few cases, people have experienced anaphylactic shock 30 minutes after exposure to the allergen. Several symptoms that indicate anaphylactic shock include:

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Chest discomfort
  • Facial swelling
  • A warm sensation

Do not ignore these symptoms when they occur. Take immediate action to prevent life-threatening outcomes.

How Should I Treat Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention. Call 911 immediately and proceed to check the person’s airways. During this time, keep the person calm and comfortable to avoid panic. If the person has allergy medicine, such as a prescribed EpiPen or chewable antihistamine, help them inject or consume the medicine appropriately. Even if the person has taken medicine, it’s still necessary to have the person checked by a medic to ensure safety.

One of the first signs of anaphylactic shock is trouble breathing or speaking due to throat swelling. If this is the case, performing CPR may be appropriate until further help arrives. Avoid giving the victim oral medication if their throat is swollen. The medicine may lodge in their throat and cause them to choke.

How Can I Prevent Anaphylaxis?

If you know you have a severe allergy, carry appropriate allergy medicine with you at all times. If you do not have medicine for your allergy, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.

If you are concerned about new food being a potential allergy, introduce the food in small portions and allow an appropriate amount of time for your body to register an allergic reaction.

Instruct a friend or loved one how to use your injectable EpiPen in case you are not able to inject it yourself. Never use your EpiPen on someone else even if they are having an allergic reaction. Their body may reject the medicine and worsen the situation.

Wear a medical alert bracelet to indicate if you have a specific allergy.

How Much Time Do I Have?

Time is your best friend in an anaphylactic shock situation. This disorder has the potential to be life-threatening. If you act promptly and appropriately, the symptoms can be treated.

Dr. Brauer is ready to educate and help you create an anaphylaxis plan! Please contact us today at 270-228-2811.