There is a very high percentage of people who have allergies. Whether it’s seasonal allergies, food allergies, or other allergies, most people at least know someone who has an allergy. From mild to severe, allergic reactions can be scary and possibly life-threatening. To help you understand this common medical condition, this article is going to cover common signs of severe allergic reactions and how to know when to seek emergency care.

Symptoms of Allergic ReactionsUnfortunately, no one allergic reaction is going to be exactly the same. In fact, people with allergies can react differently to the allergen each time they are exposed. However, there are a few common ways to identify an allergic reaction. People who are experiencing an allergic reaction may show signs like:

  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itchy throat or mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Hives or skin redness
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Weakness
  • Loss of consciousness

While symptoms may vary, it’s important to watch out for these symptoms, as well as the severity of the reaction. Some reactions may be very mild while others may require immediate medical treatment.

Treatment of Allergic ReactionsMost mild allergic reactions may be able to be treated with simple allergy medicine. However, it’s important to know how to care for someone who is having a severe allergic reaction. If someone is diagnosed with a severe allergy, their doctor will most likely prescribe an emergency medication in the event of a reaction. But while waiting for help or while on the way to an emergency room, the most important thing to do is to keep the person calm. If they’re already having trouble breathing, panicking will only make it worse. Additionally, to prevent shock, the person should lie flat with their feet elevated. It’s important to not raise their head if they’re having difficulty breathing.

When to Seek Emergency CareKnowing when to seek emergency care is key to preventing serious consequences from an allergic reaction. While about 44% to 65% of ER visits could have been treated at an urgent care clinic, there are times when people should be treated at an emergency room. Severe allergic reactions can potentially be life-threatening, and therefore should be treated at an emergency room. Anaphylaxis is the most common severe allergic reaction. It comes on quickly and can be life-threatening. If someone is having difficulty breathing, chest tightness, lightheadedness, or tingling in their body, they should receive emergency care right away.

If you or someone you know has severe allergies, knowing how to spot a severe allergic reaction and knowing when to seek emergency care can potentially save a life. Allergic reactions can be scary, but if someone is experiencing a severe allergic reaction it’s important to get them help as soon as possible.