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Anaphylaxis Specialist

Suburban Allergy Consultants

Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialists located in Narberth, Havertown, West Chester, West Grove, & Coatesville, PA

Anaphylaxis affects nearly one in every 50 Americans, according to a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. If you suffer from anaphylaxis or suspect that you might, schedule a consultation with the team of allergy specialists at Suburban Allergy Consultants, with modern clinics in Narberth, Havertown, West Chester, West Grove, and Coatesville, Pennsylvania. You can book your visit with Corinna Bowser MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, or Andrew Murphy MD, FAAAAI, by calling the office nearest you or by using the online booking tool.

Anaphylaxis Q & A

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. Allergic reactions happen when your body comes into contact with an allergen. An allergen is a foreign substance that your body registers as dangerous, despite the fact that it’s not. In response to the perceived threat, your immune system produces antibodies and chemicals to prevent the allergen from entering your system.

In the case of anaphylaxis, your body so severely overreacts to the allergen that it can threaten your life.

What happens during anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis can happen within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen, though it can also happen 30 minutes or longer after exposure.

Some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Tingling scalp, mouth, feet, or hands
  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Swelling in your lips or tongue
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • A weak and rapid pulse
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea
  • Difficulty swallowing or the feeling of a lump in your throat
  • Suddenly feeling too warm
  • Loss of color in your skin, flushed skin, hives, or other skin reactions

Without treatment, anaphylaxis can progress to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal. Some of the symptoms of anaphylactic shock include:

  • A sudden feeling of weakness
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

If you or somebody near you is exhibiting symptoms of anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, call 911 immediately. 

What triggers anaphylaxis?

There are a few different substances that commonly trigger anaphylaxis:

  • Stings from insects, like bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants
  • Latex
  • Certain medications, like antibiotics and aspirin
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Food, like milk, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, and peanuts

If you’re prone to anaphylaxis, it’s vital to learn what you’re allergic to. The team of allergy experts at Suburban Allergy Consultants can work with you to determine what particular allergens might trigger anaphylaxis. 

What is the treatment for anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is an emergency condition, and if you or someone you know is experiencing it, you need to get them to the hospital or emergency care immediately. Your emergency care physician may use several different methods to stop the anaphylaxis, including:

  • Epinephrine, or adrenaline, to weaken your immune system’s allergic response
  • Oxygen to aid in breathing
  • Intravenous antihistamines and cortisone to reduce airway inflammation
  • A beta-agonist, like albuterol, to alleviate breathing difficulty

People that are prone to anaphylaxis need to carry emergency adrenaline medication, like an epinephrine auto-injector, at all times. This is a small, easy-to-operate syringe that can immediately deliver life-saving adrenaline to your system to counter your anaphylaxis.

Your Suburban Allergy Consultants doctor can prescribe the medication and give you tips on how to avoid anaphylaxis. They can also administer allergy testing at their clinic to help you determine what particular allergens might induce anaphylaxis, which can help you avoid exposure.

To learn more about how to protect yourself from anaphylaxis, schedule a visit at Suburban Allergy Consultants over the phone or request one using the online booking tool.