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What should you do if you have an allergic reaction?

Our clinic is located in the heart of the Kuta area and is within the reach of the tourist areas of Seminyak and Nusa Dua.

2019-08-18
Nice to Know

What should you do if you have an allergic reaction?

by Dhani Anggara, MD

ALLERGIC REACTION

This week KMC Clinic will discuss about allergic reaction. Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance — such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander — or a food that doesn't cause a reaction in most people.

Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn't. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system's reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.

The severity of allergies varies from person to person and can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency. While most allergies can't be cured, treatments can help relieve your allergy symptoms.

 

Symptom

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • hives (itchy red spots on the skin)
  • itching
  • nasal congestion (known as rhinitis)
  • rash
  • scratchy throat
  • watery or itchy eyes

 

Severe allergic reactions can cause the following symptoms:

  • abdominal cramping or pain
  • pain or tightness in the chest
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness (vertigo)
  • fear or anxiety
  • flushing of the face
  • nausea or vomiting
  • heart palpitations
  • swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
  • weakness
  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • unconsciousness

A severe and sudden allergic reaction can develop within seconds after exposure to an allergen. This type of reaction is known as anaphylaxis and results in life-threatening symptoms, including swelling of the airway, inability to breathe, and a sudden and severe drop in blood pressure.

If you experience this type of allergic reaction, seek immediate emergency help. Without treatment, this condition can result in death within 15 minutes.

 

How is an allergic reaction diagnosed?

The most commonly ordered types of allergy tests are:

  • skin tests
  • challenge (elimination-type) tests
  • blood tests

A skin test is most valuable for diagnosing:

  • food allergy (like shellfish or peanuts)
  • mold, pollen, and animal dander allergy
  • penicillin allergy
  • venom allergy (such as mosquito bites or bee stings)
  • allergic contact dermatitis (a rash you get from touching a substance)

 

Treatment

Allergy treatments include:

  • Allergen avoidance. Your doctor will help you take steps to identify and avoid your allergy triggers.
  • Medications. Depending on your allergy, medications can help reduce your immune system reaction.
  • Immunotherapy. For severe allergies or allergies not completely relieved by other treatment, your doctor might recommend allergen immunotherapy.
  • Emergency epinephrine. If you have a severe allergy, you might need to carry an emergency epinephrine shot at all times.

 

How can you prevent an allergic reaction?

Once you identify your allergy, you can:

  • Avoid exposure to the allergen.
  • Seek medical care if you’re exposed to the allergen.
  • Carry medications to treat anaphylaxis.

You may not be able to avoid an allergic reaction completely, but these steps can help you prevent future allergic reactions.

 

Source:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/allergic-reaction-causes
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/allergic-reaction#prevention
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/diagnosis-treatment

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