Most people who suffer from allergies have mild to moderate symptoms. However, some people experience severe allergy symptoms that can significantly impact their lives and even lead to hospitalization or death if not treated promptly.
Severe Allergy Symptoms
Symptoms of severe allergies differ from the typical sneezing, watery eyes and scratchy throat that we associate with things like hay fever. If you have severe allergies and encounter a known trigger you may experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling in throat or lungs
- Severe allergy rash
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that causes airway obstruction. This makes it difficult to breathe and can lead to your body going into shock. It has a quick onset and can be fatal if not treated immediately. It’s estimated that up to 5% of the population of the United States has had anaphylaxis at some point.
Anaphylaxis is often treated with an epinephrine injector, like an EpiPen. People who are known to be at risk for anaphylaxis should carry around an injector with them at all times in case of allergen exposure. You should also always make sure to seek medical care if you experience anaphylaxis to see if you need any additional treatment after epinephrine use.
Causes of Severe Allergies
Allergens that produce mild to moderate reactions in some people have the ability to produce severe reactions in others. Some of the more common severe allergy triggers include:
- Foods like nuts, shellfish, wheat and soy
- Insect bites and stings
- Certain medications
What to Do
If you believe you are suffering from severe allergies, make an appointment with an allergist right away. They can use allergy testing to confirm your triggers and prescribe any necessary treatment.
Additionally, you can make several lifestyle adjustments to keep you safer, including:
- Track your allergies with an app or a diary.
- Avoid known allergens. If you have a food allergy, be mindful of what you order when you go out to eat at restaurants like Hideout 125. Double-check the ingredient list with your server and make sure they know of your condition.
- Wear an alert bracelet.
Severe allergies can be a challenging and frightening experience. However, with the right care team and treatment options, you can come up with a plan that helps you manage your allergies and live a healthy and normal life.
For information on severe allergies or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call Ear, Nose & Throat Associates, P.C. today.