Allergic Reactions


Symptoms of an allergic reaction will typically present themselves in the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Even though there are many different types of allergic reactions that occur in different ways, they all result from an immune response to a foreign substance the individual is allergic to. Here are some brief descriptions of common allergies and allergic reactions.

Types of Allergies

A food allergy may cause:

  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat
  • Tingling mouth
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis

A drug allergy may cause:

  • Facial swelling
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy skin
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis

An insect sting allergy may cause:

  • Extreme swelling at the sting site
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing, wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis

Types of Allergic Reactions and Conditions

Allergic Rhinitis – is more commonly known as "hay fever", one of the most common allergies there is, and which is caused by an allergic reaction to airborne allergens. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is usually caused by pollen, while year-round or perennial allergic rhinitis would indicate a reaction to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, dander, or mold. It is not uncommon for some people to have a combination of both seasonal and perennial allergies.

The most common symptoms of hay fever include the following:

  • Itchy nose, eyes, ears, and throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery, red or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)

Asthma - is a serious and possibly life-threatening respiratory condition that occurs when there is an inflammation of the airways into the lungs. This inflammation leads to a constriction of the airways and can cause extreme difficulty in breathing. Asthma is usually controllable with medication, but it is very important for someone with asthma to be under a doctor’s care and have an asthma treatment and management plan to follow. Asthma can often be triggered by allergic rhinitis, viral infections and sometimes even just heavy exercise can also trigger an asthma attack.

Symptoms of an asthma attack will include the following:

  • Tightness of the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

Immediate emergency care is needed in cases of a severe asthma attack, and you must call 911 or seek emergency medical assistance.

Anaphylaxis - is a very serious and potentially fatal allergic reaction that can often affect numerous organs at the same time. Anaphylaxis is triggered by a severe allergic reaction to a particular food, medication, or venom (such as a bee sting). Airborne allergens rarely lead to anaphylaxis.

The most common symptoms of an anaphylaxis include the following:

  • Swelling of the tongue and/or throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Unconsciousness, or shock
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes

Anaphylactic Shock - occurs when the blood vessels enlarge so much due to the allergic reaction, that it causes a dangerous drop in blood pressure. This can result in an inadequate supply of blood to the organs and is a life-threatening condition.

Immediate emergency care is needed in cases of anaphylactic shock, and you must call 911 or seek emergency medical assistance.

 

We Can Help!

Medfast Urgent Care Centers offer fast, professional medical treatment for asthma and allergic reactions. Our average wait time to see patients is typically less than an hour, compared to busy Hospital Emergency Rooms, which can many times take longer than three to four hours and are much more expensive. We are professionally staffed with highly-skilled, licensed doctors and nurses, and fully equipped to handle testing and treatment for asthma and allergic reactions.