Thursday, May 8th, 2014
You or someone you know is likely living with an allergy, whether it be to bee stings, tree nuts, penicillin, or something else. What you may not realize is just how serious these allergies can be. Exposure to one of these allergens can trigger anaphylaxis, a dangerous and life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate treatment. To learn more about anaphylaxis, explore some of the top patient questions below.
Top Patient Questions about Anaphylaxis
- What is anaphylaxis? Anaphylaxis is defined as a severe, full-body, and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms can appear immediately after exposure to an allergen, requiring urgent treatment before complications arise.
- What causes it? Anaphylaxis can be triggered by exposure to any substance that you're allergic to, though it's typically not caused by pollen or other inhaled allergens. Some common allergens include certain medications, stings or bites from insects like bees, yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps, and foods like peanuts, wheat, shellfish, tree nuts, milk, and more.
- What are the symptoms? Symptoms of anaphylaxis appear quickly, and can include anxiety, skin redness, hives, wheezing, difficulty breathing, a rapid and weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, and more.
- How is it treated? As anaphylaxis symptoms can begin to appear in a matter of minutes, emergency medical attention is always required. Possible treatments for an anaphylactic attack can include epinephrine to help reduce the body's allergic response, antihistamines and cortisone to relieve inflammation of the air passages, and oxygen to help with restricted breathing.
- Can it be prevented? As anaphylaxis is triggered by something you are allergic to, avoiding this allergen is the best way to prevent it from occurring. There are some other ways you can keep yourself safe, like carefully reading food labels, informing your doctor of any drug allergies, keeping an emergency medical kit on you at all times, and wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace to inform others of this allergy.
Board Certified Physician in Astoria
To learn more about anaphylaxis, contact us today and schedule a consultation. Our offices are located in Astoria, and you can reach us directly at (718) 204-7550. We look forward to hearing from you.