Many things can cause allergic reactions, including bites, food, dust, and pollen. Allergic reactions occur when the immune system overreacts to allergens. This may cause itching, watery eyes, and runny nose in response to allergens. However, some allergic reactions can be extremely dangerous, especially if they lead to anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylaxis occurs when blood pressure drops and the tissues in the throat swell, causing severe breathing problems. Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department if you are experiencing any of the following anaphylaxis symptoms.
Common life-threatening allergy triggers include peanuts, fish and shellfish, insect venom, chemicals, and certain medications. The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen, but some allergens are impossible to completely avoid coming into contact with, like insects and certain food ingredients.
If you or a loved one is stung by an insect and has an allergic reaction, take the following action.
If you or a loved one is exposed to any other allergen that results in anaphylaxis, take the following action.
Head to your nearest St. Luke’s Health emergency room even if you inject yourself with epinephrine. No matter how much better you feel after an injection, always visit an emergency center after every reaction. About 15% of people who experience anaphylaxis have another severe reaction within a few hours. Have a second dose of epinephrine at the ready and get cleared by medical professionals after each reaction.
Allergies and the Immune System
Insect Stings and Allergic Reactions
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