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Anaphylaxis Specialist

Premier Allergy and Asthma -  - Allergy and Asthma Specialists

Premier Allergy and Asthma

Allergy and Asthma Specialists located in Columbus, OH and the surrounding areas

Food allergies are the top cause of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that develops quickly and needs immediate medical care. The board-certified physicians at Premier Allergy and Asthma prepare all patients at risk for anaphylaxis, teaching them what to do and equipping them with auto-injectable medication. To learn if you’re at risk for anaphylaxis, book an appointment online or call one of the offices in Dublin, Westerville, Canal Winchester, Lancaster, Marysville, Delaware, New Albany, Hilliard, Grove City, and Grandview, Ohio.

Anaphylaxis Q & A

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that appears quickly, progresses rapidly, and potentially threatens your life without fast treatment. This type of severe reaction, also called anaphylactic shock, occurs when multiple body systems are affected by the chemicals released in response to an allergen.

Food allergies are the most common cause of anaphylaxis. However, you’re also at risk if you’re allergic to insect stings, drugs, or latex.

Anaphylaxis is always considered a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

What symptoms develop due to anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis can strike anyone, and you can have your first anaphylactic reaction at any age. Symptoms typically begin within 5-30 minutes after you encounter an allergen, but in some cases, it can take a little longer.

Skin and respiratory symptoms are often the first to appear. Some patients experience an unusual feeling like a sense of doom. 

It’s important to know that you can develop problems in any body system, resulting in any of these symptoms:

Skin symptoms: 

  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Red skin
  • Flushing
  • Angioedema (swelling)

Respiratory symptoms:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal inflammation
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty breathing

Gastrointestinal symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Difficulty swallowing

Cardiovascular symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness

Neurologic symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Agitation

As multiple body systems become overwhelmed, you can go into shock and have a heart attack.

How is anaphylaxis treated?

If you haven’t already had allergy testing, your doctor at Premier Allergy and Asthma performs testing to identify your allergens, then works with you to develop an action plan. Treatment for anaphylaxis includes:

Avoiding your allergens

You can prevent anaphylaxis by avoiding your allergens, a step that’s critical if you have a food allergy.

Getting immunotherapy

If it’s available for your allergen, immunotherapy reduces your allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Of the allergies that commonly cause an anaphylactic reaction, immunotherapy is available for insect stings and peanut allergies. However, you still need an epinephrine pen.

Carrying auto-injectable epinephrine

An injection of epinephrine is the first treatment for anaphylaxis. Your doctor at Premier Allergy and Asthma prescribes auto-injectable epinephrine, or an epinephrine pen, that should be with you at all times. At the first sign of anaphylaxis, you must quickly inject epinephrine.

Calling 911

If you don’t have an epinephrine pen, immediately call 911. You should also go to the emergency room after injecting epinephrine because you could need further treatment. Additionally, some patients experience a second wave of symptoms.

To learn more about preventing anaphylaxis, call Premier Allergy and Asthma or book an appointment online.