What Are the Signs of Anaphylaxis?

May 23, 2023
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While allergic reactions can sometimes be mild, anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can potentially be deadly. Read on to learn about how to recognize the signs of anaphylaxis and why you need to have an emergency plan in place.

It’s estimated that there are 50 million allergic reactions in the United States each year, with allergies being the sixth most common chronic condition in the country. Allergies happen when your body’s immune system encounters a harmless substance that it deems as dangerous and triggers a reaction.

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be deadly if not treated immediately. Any type of allergen can trigger anaphylaxis, but some common ones include food, medications, and insect stings. 

At Allergy and Asthma Institute of SE Michigan, Chad W. Mayer, DO, FAAAAI, FAAP, Ronda Barak-Norris, MD, FACAAI, and the rest of our team want you to understand that anaphylaxis is extremely dangerous. Here’s how to recognize this severe allergic reaction and how to treat it if you ever experience it.

Signs of anaphylaxis

Symptoms of anaphylaxis can begin immediately after you come into contact with an allergen. Anaphylaxis can start with in a few seconds to a few hours after exposure, you can start to experience the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of the airway, causing difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hives
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Slurred speech
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Repetitive vomiting

If anaphylaxis continues to develop, you can experience more life-threatening symptoms like a drop in blood pressure, increased heart rate, shock, and loss of consciousness. You’ll be diagnosed with anaphylaxis if you’ve also had mental confusion, throat swelling, blue skin, wheezing, and dizziness.

Treating and preventing anaphylaxis

If you’ve ever experienced anaphylaxis, you need to see an allergist at our practice for a personalized treatment plan. 

We first perform an evaluation. We also review your health history and allergy symptoms and perform allergy testing to identify what’s causing your reactions.

As far as treatment goes, it’s best to always avoid the allergen and also have an emergency plan in place should you experience exposure to it. Our team can help you identify what you’re allergic to and what symptoms to be on the lookout for.   

We are also the leaders in all of the midwest in the treatment of food allergies using a process called Oral immunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy. We have been treating patients from the age of 6 months through adults, for over 13 years. We treat many different foods, including severely allergic foods, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, milk eggs and many more.  To date we have treated over 1,300 patients.

We can also walk you through how to use epinephrine, which is an auto-injector that can significantly reduce the severity of your symptoms.  Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis.

To get help with your anaphylaxis treatment plan, contact our team today for expert professional allergy care. To schedule an appointment at our office located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, give us a call at 248-363-3232 or use our online booking tool today.