Your immune system is responsible for defending the body against germs. However in some cases, your immune system will defend against substances that typically don’t pose a threat to the human body. These substances are known as allergens. When your body reacts to them, it causes an allergic reaction. You can inhale, eat, and touch allergens that cause a reaction.
Allergies are common and everyone can have allergic reaction to something. There are various treatments that can help prevent or treat your symptoms. Your body can react to allergies in different ways. Depending on your allergen, symptoms can appear on the skin, eyes, nose and the lungs.
However, there are many things you can look out for that could signal an allergic reaction. Recognizing these signs could help stop a potentially life-threatening situation.
Allergic symptoms may initially appear mild or moderate but can progress very quickly. The most dangerous allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) involve the respiratory system (breathing) and/or cardiovascular system (heart and blood pressure).
Common Signs You Are Having an Allergic Reaction
Mild to moderate allergic reaction
- Hives, welts or body redness.
This happens because your body releases histamine, a chemical that irritates your skin and causes the hives. These raised red patches or itchy bumps aren’t always the result of allergies. Extreme temperatures or stress can also cause hives, so be sure to consult with an allergist.
- Watery, itchy eyes in people who have pet dander or pollen allergies. Because, the airborne particles can get into your eye area and irritate it.
- Sneezing and an itchy throat which can also be due to airborne allergens
- Swelling of the face, lips, eyes
- Abdominal pain
- Runny nose (allergic rhinitis)
- General signs of feeling unwell such as headache, fever.
Severe allergic reaction- Anaphylaxis
One symptom of anaphylaxis is shock. When you’re in shock, the organs of your body don’t get enough blood. This is because your blood pressure is dangerously low. If the drop in BP is sudden and drastic, it can lead to unconsciousness, cardiac arrest, or even death.
You are having a severe allergic reaction if you experience signs such as:
- Difficult and/or noisy breathing
- Swelling of the tongue
- Swelling or tightness in the throat
- Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
- Wheeze or persistent cough
- Persistent dizziness or collapse in its place
- Pale and floppy (in young children)
If you have severe allergies, you should keep two epinephrine injection kits with you. This should be within easy reach at all times. Besides, if you feel like anaphylaxis may be happening, seek medical help. Also use your epinephrine auto-injector right away, even if you’re not sure the symptoms are allergy-related.