Allergy attacks can be frightening, sudden, but mostly, uncomfortable. The reason behind why humans still experience allergy symptoms and attacks is still being researched. However, we do know allergy symptoms are triggered when your immune system detects an “intruder,” whether that is pollen, mold, dust, dander, etc. No matter why you experience allergy attacks, they’re inevitably uncomfortable or even life threatening.
People have been asking why they have to suffer with allergies since they were first being affected by them. It’s as if your immune system reacts to a false alarm in a severe way. The purpose of the immune system is to recognize foreign invaders like bacteria and parasites in your environment. Once detected, your body’s response is to attack the potentially harmful invaders through the creation of millions of antibodies. While being created, the immune system is supposed to filter out the antibodies that attack the wrong targets, like your body or dust. When the antibodies react to non-threatening allergens, such as food or pollen, allergy attacks occur.
When you feel ravaged by allergies, though, don’t lose all hope. There are a lot of things you can do to minimize the detrimental effects of mild to severe allergies. Whether that involves being armed with an Epinephrine pen, heading to your nearest Urgency Room or knowing how to treat your allergies at home with over-the-counter medications, knowing what to do when allergies strike could save you from discomfort or even life-threatening scenarios.
Types of Allergies
An allergic reaction can happen when you ingest, touch or inhale whatever you’re allergic to. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, just stepping out your front door could be a challenge against puffy eyes and a running nose. What’s more is there may not be anything you can do about it. If both of your parents have allergies, you run a 60–70% of also having those allergies, and they may not even develop until later in your life. What are some types of these allergies that can cause an allergy attack?
What causes an allergy attack depends on each person’s unique reaction to an invading substance. However, some common things that cause allergic reactions include:
- Food: Eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat make up 90 percent of food allergies in the U.S.
- Antibiotics and other drugs: penicillin, anesthesia, sulfa drugs, insulin, etc.
- Insects: Venom from bee, wasp, hornet, yellow jacket stings, fire ants
- Latex: Found in rubber gloves, balloons, rubber bands, condoms, and more
- Other Allergies: Pet dander, dust, mold, pollen, cockroaches, or even household items like laundry detergents, cosmetics and hairspray
As you can see, allergies can stem from an incredibly vast number of triggers. Nearly anywhere you go could be chock-full of allergy triggers, so knowing how to treat or diminish symptoms when they occur could be the difference between muddling through and enjoying your day. Which would you prefer?
How You Can Treat Your Allergy Symptoms
First, to find out exactly what you’re allergic to, consider getting a prick test or an intradermal test done. These tests expose parts of your skin to different allergens. As your body reacts to these allergens, your physician can better determine what you’re exactly allergic to and be able to tell you what you should try to avoid.
There are some simple and obvious solutions to avoiding allergic reactions. First of all, you could try and avoid your allergens altogether. Symptoms for seasonal allergies can include a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing or itching. They’re mostly encountered outside. Checking your local weather station should tell you what the outdoor air quality is like in your specific area in terms of pollutants. There are resources, however, offered by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) that will tell you your local pollen and mold report. By checking your immediate air quality reports, you can better prepare for going outdoors. If you’re very sensitive to outdoor or seasonal allergies, consider taking an antihistamine before heading outside.
However, more severe allergic reactions are possible. Watch for symptoms like:
- Abdominal cramps
- Flushed skin
- Hives, rash
- Wheezing or breathing problems
- Abnormal pulse
- Swelling of the face, lips or throat
These are symptoms that those affected by the allergen are going into anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis is a body’s hypersensitive reaction that can happen shortly after coming in contact with an allergen and can cause the throat to swell and blood pressure to drop. What should you do in the case of anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock?
If you are alone, immediately call 911. Anaphylactic shock happens quickly and oxygen could be cut off within minutes, causing permanent and serious damage. If you know you are at risk for severe allergic reactions, always carry an Epinephrine pen, or two, with you at all times. Epinephrine quickly reduces and reverses anaphylactic symptoms as it’s comprised of adrenaline. You can never tell when a bee will sting you or a food you’re allergic to will sneak into your day.
Know What to Do When Allergies Strike
Allergens can sneak into your life on your daily walk, a plate of food or anywhere in between. Knowing what to do when you or someone you know is having an allergy attack could be the difference between life and death. When experiencing persistent allergy symptoms, heading to your local Urgency Room could bring you relief faster than you thought possible. Our skilled and experienced physicians and nurses are well-outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and a high-complexity lab to determine exactly what is causing your allergic reactions and what can be done to resolve them today.
Don’t suffer through allergies anymore. Get the care you need and the tools you need to avoid future allergy attacks. We’re open 365 days per year from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M., including holidays. That means we’re here even if you start experiencing severe allergies while you’re cooking out at your yearly Fourth of July barbeque. When minutes matter, especially during an allergy attack, get to The Urgency Room.