Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening type of allergic reaction that can occur within minutes of exposure to a substance to which an individual is allergic. Timely recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis is crucial because it can rapidly progress to anaphylactic shock, a severe and life-threatening condition.
Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
The symptoms of anaphylaxis develop rapidly in a matter of minutes. Some of the common signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Swelling of lips, face, and throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
- If you suspect that you or someone around you is experiencing anaphylaxis, seek emergency medical attention right away.
Causes of Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is mostly caused by an allergic reaction to certain foods, medications, or insect stings and bites.
Some of the common triggers of anaphylaxis include:
- Peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish
- Penicillin and other antibiotics
- Insect stings and bites from bees, wasps, or hornets
Treatment for Anaphylaxis
The treatment for anaphylaxis is epinephrine. People who are prescribed epinephrine, must carry it at all times and know how to use it in an emergency. However, not everyone has epinephrine and many don't know how to respond appropriately to anaphylaxis.
It is important to remember that anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment, and seeking emergency medical attention right away.
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatment of anaphylaxis is important for everyone.
Take our brief quiz to test your knowledge about anaphylaxis within the Allergy Advocacy Association's "10 in 10 training" (+hyperlink), the self-paced ten-day training to learn how to become an advocate in ten minutes a day! Remember, advocacy is an ongoing journey, and every effort, no matter how small, can contribute to a better future.