A runny nose, itchy eyes, frequent sneezing, asthma attack and rashes are the most common allergic symptoms that most of us typically experience. There are many ways to manage these symptoms that can help us obtain relief and better recovery from an allergy attack. While simple allergy attack cannot cause serious complications and is highly manageable even with a home treatment, an anaphylactic attack can pose more danger to our health. Anaphylaxis refers to the body’s more serious reaction to an allergen which triggers an allergy attack but in a more serious level. Failure to manage the symptoms of anaphylactic attack can likewise impose serious danger that calls for immediate medical attention.
Risk factors of anaphylactic attack
An anaphylactic attack is likened to an allergy attack which is triggered by allergens like foods that stimulate the body’s immune system to release chemicals like histamine in order to protect the body against the invasion of foreign materials to the body system. It is these chemicals that cause the symptoms to occur that massively appear to the different parts of the body. Unlike a simple allergic reaction where the symptoms are localized and limited, an anaphylaxis can produce a massive body reaction to the allergen thereby causing more serious symptoms that require immediate medical attention. People with a family history of anaphylaxis, asthma and allergy are at higher risk of the condition.
Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
The common signs of an allergy also appear in anaphylaxis but usually at a more severe reaction. Abdominal cramps are very common which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Hives may also appear in severe cases with some swelling on the face and throat. The risk of shock is likewise apparent in an anaphylactic attack. Severe symptoms of allergy often require the administration of epinephrine in order to keep the symptoms controlled and to prevent more life threatening condition. The epinephrine is injected into a muscle and it takes effect immediately to reduce the swelling, improve breathing and to stimulate the blood pressure and heart beat.
First Aid Response for Anaphylactic Attack
The danger of anaphylaxis to become a life threatening condition is very high. In case you find someone getting a severe reaction due to allergy, it is important to call for help immediately. Severe attack of anaphylaxis can cause the person to stop breathing and may trigger a heart attack if a person has a heart problem. Your quick thinking can help the person overcome the attack by asking him whether he is using an epinephrine injection with him that can essentially save his life. Help administer the injection if it is available otherwise help the person to breath better by loosening his clothes and making him comfortable by sitting in a well ventilated room until help arrive. Sometimes the attack is accompanied with asthma. It is best to ask the person whether they have an asthma inhaler with them to help relieve their difficulty in breathing. Do not give anything to drink to the person and if he is vomiting on a lying position move him to face sideward. Should the person lose consciousness, give him CPR.
Reference: Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. First Aid Treatment for Anaphylaxis. Accessed on June 1, 2014 from http://www.allergy.org.au/health-professionals/anaphylaxis-resources/first-aid-for-anaphylaxis
Mayo Clinic. Anaphylaxis. Accessed June 1, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anaphylaxis/basics/definition/con-20014324