An allergic reaction will occur when the immune system identifies a particle as harmful. Once identified, it will produce chemicals in the body to fight the particle. However, these chemicals also produce frustrating symptoms like sneezing, coughing, or watery eyes. The immune system is trying to flush out the allergen from inside your body.

Allergic reactions are classified into four different types – immediate, cytotoxic, immune complex-mediated, and delayed hypersensitivity. Let’s take a look at all four:

1. Allergic Reaction: Immediate

Symptoms of an immediate allergic reaction can surface within seconds or minutes upon contact with the allergen. Anaphylaxis is often associated with an immediate allergic reaction due to the hypersensitive state of the immune system. Life-threatening symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

• Difficulty breathing
• Swelling of the face and throat
• Low blood pressure
• Shock

Call 911 immediately if you experience any of the symptoms listed above.

2. Allergic Reaction: Cytotoxic

To better understand a cytotoxic allergic reaction, let’s dissect the word. Cyto means cell and toxic means poison; it translates to cell poison. During a cytotoxic allergic reaction, symptoms will appear within a few minutes to a couple of hours after the allergen has contacted your immune system. In simple terms, the IgG and IgM antibodies damage cells, thus producing autoimmune diseases.

3. Allergic Reaction: Immune Complex-Mediated

Immune complex-mediated allergic reaction will surface several hours after the allergen is detected by the immune system. Because of the delayed reaction, people may go many months or years unsure what is causing their physical pain and symptoms.

4. Allergic Reaction: Delayed Hypersensitivity

Symptoms of a delayed hypersensitivity allergic reaction will surface several hours or days after contact has been made with the immune system. Just like immune complex-mediated, the delayed reaction can contribute to insecurity and uncertainty about what health issue is present. Dr. Brauer can figure out exactly what’s going on and begin a treatment plan for you.

Dr. Brauer can help you take control of allergic reactions to optimize your health!

Whether your allergy is life-threatening or “just” produces uncomfortable symptoms, you have the opportunity to take control of your allergies. At your appointment with Dr. Brauer, she will determine exactly what allergen is causing your frustrating symptoms and talk to you about a treatment plan. Make an appointment today: 270-228-2811