Have you ever suffered from an allergic reaction? Are you aware of what an allergic reaction is? An allergic reaction occurs when your body’s system identifies a substance as harmful, even though it isn’t. These substances, also known as allergens, can be caused by food, medication, or the environment. When you come into contact with these allergens, it can cause you to experience symptoms like irritation, watery eyes, or sneezing. In worst case scenarios, an individual can experience anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition, which causes a drop in blood pressure and difficulty breathing. If not treated immediately, anaphylaxis can lead to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. Below is a list of things to do if you or someone you know suffers from a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.
- Call 911 immediately
- See if there is an EpiPen (epinephrine auto-injector) and help if needed
- Keep calm or try to keep the person calm who is having an allergic reaction
- Lie on your back or help the person lie on their back
- Raise your feet/raise their feet 12 inches and cover them with a blanket
- Turn on your side/turn them on their side if they are vomiting or bleeding
- Be sure all clothing is loose so that they can breathe
If you suffer from minor allergic reactions (irritation, watery eyes, sneezing), over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants may help to relieve your symptoms. Antihistamines prevent symptoms like hives from blocking histamine receptors so your body doesn’t react to the allergens. Decongestants will help you to clear your nose and are great for seasonal allergies. If you come in contact or eat food that you are allergic to, over-the-counter drugs can only temper the reaction. They will help relieve hives or itching, or you can treat food allergies with epinephrine.
Preventing Allergic Reactions
Once you have had an allergic reaction, it is important to figure out what caused the reaction in order to avoid it from happening in the future. If you know there are certain ingredients you are allergic to, be sure to check the products before you purchase items in order to avoid those ingredients. The better you can control your allergies, the less likely you are to have a reaction. If you suffer from severe allergic reactions, be sure those around you are aware. You should let them know the items you are allergic to and where you keep your epinephrine auto-injector in the case of an emergency.
At OneSource Healthcare, we understand how vital it is to be seen by an urgent care physician when you aren’t well. That is why we offer low-cost, affordable urgent care for those occasional urgent care medical needs that simply cannot wait. Visit us online at www.onesource-healthcare.com or give us a call today at 229-439-1950 or 229-246-6417.