Many who live with allergies can use a variety of medications to relieve their symptoms without much difficulty. However, anaphylaxis is the one allergic problem that can be cause for serious concern.
Anaphylaxis is when you have an overwhelming allergic reaction that in many cases, is potentially life-threatening. It normally occurs when some allergy substance gets inside the body and it’s not to be confused with inhaling any type of allergen. Something such as a bee sting placing venom inside you, taking your first penicillin pill, or eating a shrimp or peanuts can cause anaphylaxis if the person is allergic to those substances.
Some people’s bodies are programmed to react to certain substances and when you get a bee sting, take penicillin, or eat shrimp or a peanut, your body basically reacts by saying, “I am not programmed to accept this inside my body.” The complicated little factories inside the body turn on the protein IGE which releases a lot of histamine and when you suddenly release a whole lot of it, you are going to get flushed, feel warm, you may break out in hives, and you may suffer Angioedema which is swelling of the lips or eyes. However, the biggest cause for concern would be when you get swelling in the throat area, specifically the larynx through which the air goes down into the lungs. The other big worry would be the massive amount of histamine causing all the blood vessels in the body to open up wide causing people to go into shock.
How Long Does it Take For An Anaphylactic Reaction to Occur?
What everybody needs to realize is that in life-threatening allergic reactions, 85% of them happen within the hour after you’ve been exposed to the substance and almost always within two hours. It rarely happens after these two hours unless it’s food but when people believe they are suffering an allergic reaction two days after eating a certain food, it is not a result of anaphylaxis.
Those who are at risk of such a severe allergic reaction include many who have allergies or asthma. Allergic individuals, in general, tend to have more different kinds of reactions, so those individuals will be always be at somewhat of a higher risk.
Also, people who have had an anaphylactic reactions are probably at a higher risk to have a subsequent incident. However, just because someone has allergies, it doesn’t mean they are going to have such a bad reaction.
Since anaphylaxis can be caused by a range of substances, there are nearly 82,000 episodes of it each year in the United States but they are often confused with asthma attacks and other respiratory emergencies. In order to get the proper treatment, those who believe they are experiencing this type of negative reaction should take immediate action.
In other words, if you are suddenly flushed, breaking out in hives, or having trouble breathing step number one should always be to get to the emergency room as quickly as possible, even if it means calling 911.
Emergency medication for anaphylaxis might include an EpiPen which would be injected immediately and Benadryl which will be immediately ingested after the EpiPen has been administered.
Anyone who has had an anaphylactic reaction in the past should make every effort in the world to avoid those substances they know are harmful to them. It’s downright surprising how many people still expose themselves to the very same substances that caused the anaphylactic episode in the first place. Experts suggest people who are prone to to these severe allergic reactions should always carry around an anaphylaxis treatment kit containing an EpiPen, antihistamines, and prescribed steroids.