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What to Do If You Experience an Allergic Reaction

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If you've never experienced allergies before, your first allergic reaction can be quite alarming. However, calm, quick, and decisive action is the key to making it through this situation. Here are four steps you should take if you experience an allergic reaction.

Identify and remove the source of the allergy.

In some cases, you'll be able to pinpoint the cause of your allergic reaction. If at all possible, you should remove yourself from the source. If you're experiencing an allergy to an animal or environmental factor, get indoors if possible. Wash the allergen from your skin by taking a shower, and make sure you don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after handling a potential allergen, since this can exacerbate your symptoms.

Take medication to relieve the symptoms.

An allergic reaction can manifest in many ways. You may develop hives, watery eyes, congestion, or a runny nose. In many cases, allergies will make you itchy. This is because your body reacts to allergens by producing histamine. You can make yourself more comfortable and eradicate your symptoms by taking antihistamines. According to Health Navigator, oral antihistamines take around half an hour to begin working, so take them as soon as you feel symptoms starting.

Call 911 if your face swells or you have trouble breathing.

Occasionally, allergic reactions manifest in a severe form known as anaphylaxis. During anaphylaxis, your blood pressure may drop to unsafe levels, and you may be unable to breathe due to swelling in your throat. If you experience facial swelling or trouble breathing, call 911 and get to a hospital. Anaphylaxis can progress quickly, and it can be fatal if left untreated.

Visit an allergist for a follow-up appointment.

After your allergic reaction is over, don't wait until it happens again. Make a follow-up appointment with a local allergist. They can perform a skin test to help you determine the cause of your allergies, which will help you avoid triggers in the future. If you have seasonal allergies, such as an allergy to pollen, your allergy doctor can create a treatment plan for you. This may consist of preventative measures, such as long-lasting oral antihistamines. It may also include allergy shots to help build your immunity to unavoidable allergens.

Developing allergies doesn't have to have a negative impact on your life. With proper treatment, you can continue to partake in all your favorite activities without suffering the effects of allergies. Make an appointment with an allergy doctor to get started.