Am I Allergic to This?

04/29/2015

I think I’m having an allergic reaction. Now what?

If you think you’re experiencing an allergic reaction it’s important to see a doctor right away. Concentra Urgent Care facilities can treat most mild allergic reaction symptoms, and can save you time and money from visiting the ER. With over 300 convenient locations, come into your nearest Concentra Urgent Care if one of the following happen during home treatment:

  • Hives or rash develops or gets worse
  • Swelling gets worse
  • A skin infection develops
  • Symptoms have not improved after 2 weeks of home treatment

Click here to find a Concentra Urgent Care near you. If symptoms become life threatening it is best to call 911 immediately.

First line of defense

Your immune system acts like a small army protecting your body from viruses and bacteria by producing antibodies. When an allergic reaction occurs, your body calls in the troops to fight the substances (allergens) that are harmless in most cases, as though they are attacking the body. When this happens you may start to experience some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction such as: rash, itchy eyes, runny nose, nausea or trouble breathing.

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?

Allergic reactions range in severity from mild to life-threatening. Most allergic reactions are mild, but can become serious when the reaction causes other problems such as nosebleeds, ear problems, wheezing or coughing.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include1:

  • hives (itchy red spots on the skin)
  • itching
  • nasal congestion (rhinitis)
  • a rash
  • watery or itchy eyes

Severe allergic reactions can cause other symptoms and may require being seen by a doctor:

  • wheezing
  • difficulty breathing
  • unconsciousness
  • 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

What makes one itch, may not itch another

There is no one specific cause for why some people experience certain allergies. Many allergies appear to be inherited. The risk for developing allergies is greater if you have a close family member who has allergies.

Although reasons for why allergies develop are unknown, there are common substances that cause an allergic reaction such as: pet dander, bee stings or bites from other insects, certain foods including nuts or shellfish, certain medications such as penicillin or aspirin, certain plants and pollen.

Allergic reactions can be diagnosed by your doctor. If you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, your doctor can order tests to determine what is causing your allergy. Common types of allergy tests include skin tests, challenge (elimination-type) tests, and blood tests.

Severe allergic reactions require immediate medical attention. If you or someone you know experiences a severe allergic reaction, call 911 right away.

References

1Burke, D. (201, July 11). Allergic Reaction. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/allergic-reaction#Symptoms3
2Allergic Reaction-Home Treatment. (2014, January 24). Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/allergies/tc/allergic-reaction-home-treatment