The two crucial signs of an anaphylactic reaction are as follows: tightness of the throat and swelling over the body.
Anaphylaxis is defined as a group of symptoms exhibited by the body in reaction to a particular substance. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening reaction and therefore must be promptly spotted and treated.
The two crucial signs of an anaphylactic reaction are as follows:
What are the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis?
Severe symptoms, which may occur within 30 minutes, include:
- Skin reactions include:
- Hives (red rash all over the body)
- Respiratory problems due to the constriction of the airways, which include:
- Troubled breathing
- Hoarse voice
- The tightness of the throat
- Fainting, dizziness, or confusion
The common signs of anaphylaxis found in other areas of the human body are:
- Urticaria (hives)
- Angioedema (swelling)
- Erythema (flushing)
- Pruritus (itching)
- Upper airway:
- Nasal congestion
- Oropharyngeal or laryngeal edema
- Lower airway:
- Shortness of breath
- Bronchospasms (a contraction of muscles that line the bronchi)
- Chest tightness
- Syncope (loss of consciousness)
- Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
- Abdominal pain
- Tingling or swelling of the lips, tongue, or palate
- Sense of impending doom
Types of anaphylactic reactions
Anaphylactic reactions may be divided into three types:
Death may occur within minutes but rarely has been reported to occur days to weeks after the initial anaphylactic episode.
What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.
The most common and less common causes of anaphylaxis are listed below:
- Foods: most commonly peanuts, tree nuts, egg, fish, shellfish, cow’s milk, and wheat
- Medications: most commonly antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Allergen immunotherapy
- Insect stings (bees and wasps)
- Unidentified (no cause found; idiopathic anaphylaxis)
- Natural rubber latex
- Hormonal changes: menstrual factors
- Topical medications (chlorhexidine and polysporin)
- COVID-19 Vaccines are rare, per CDC
How to approach if you suspect anaphylaxis?
The flowchart gives an overview of anaphylaxis management.
If you suspect anaphylaxis, you should get an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot without any delay. Arrange someone to call 911 for emergency medical help. If left untreated, it can prove to be fatal.
Anaphylaxis management also involves avoiding the trigger factor to prevent relapse. It is always better to prevent anaphylaxis rather than treating it. There are some general avoidance measures listed below:
Basic avoidance measures for anaphylaxis chartTriggerAvoidance principleDrugs/medications
- Advise all healthcare personnel of any allergies. Remember and describe symptoms involved in a reaction to previous drugs.
- Ask a doctor whether the prescribed medication contains the drug(s) one is allergic to
- Avoid areas where stinging insects are attracted and avoid insect nests.
- Avoid bright clothing, perfume, hair spray, or lotion that might attract insects.
- Wear long-sleeved clothing, long trousers, and shoes while outdoors.
- Carefully read all labels. Foods containing milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish must be labeled by law.
- Ask specifically about ingredients when eating at restaurants.
- Do not eat foods with unknown ingredients.
- It is typically best to avoid foods with precautionary labeling (“may contain,” “made in a factory with,” etc.)
- Avoid all latex products.
- Inform healthcare professionals of latex allergy.
- Make sure the hospital or physician’s office has latex-free supplies.
Apart from avoiding triggers, you may also want to keep yourself safe by following these preventive measures:
- Carry an epinephrine auto-injector
- Wear an identification card or jewelry noting condition and offending allergens
- Seek the help of an allergist
Allergies can best be described as:
Medically Reviewed on 1/11/2021