When allergies get real serious

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A severe allergic reaction can be life threatening. It’s called anaphylaxis. The symptoms begin within minutes of eating a trigger food or after a bee sting or touching poison ivy. Some drugs can cause these serious reactions too. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America offers this safety advice:

•  Know the symptoms: flushed skin, rash, tissue swelling, stuffy nose, sweating, panting, nausea, stomach cramps, rapid pulse, wheezing, convulsions, or fainting.

•  Know what you’re allergic to: check food labels and ingredients. Ask at restaurants if you’re unsure if a menu item contains something you’re allergic to. Skin or blood tests done by a specialist can confirm that you’re sensitive to certain substances that can cause a severe reaction.

•  Carry an auto-injectable epinephrine device that allows you to use a rescue medication until emergency help arrives.

•  Wear a medical alert bracelet to let others know of your allergy.

•  Anaphylaxis is a 9-1-1 medical emergency.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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