Anaphylaxis Specialist

Consultants in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology

Allergists & Immunologists located in Clark, NJ, Clifton, NJ & Garfield, NJ

Sometimes, allergies can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Highly skilled adult and pediatric allergy and immunology specialists Peter Benincasa, MD, and Richard E. Luka, MD, help treat and prevent anaphylaxis at Consultants in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology in Clark, Clifton, and Garfield, New Jersey. To find out more, call or book an appointment online.

Anaphylaxis Q & A

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. An anaphylactic reaction can occur within seconds or minutes after you’re exposed to a specific allergen.

The most common triggers of anaphylaxis include:

  • Foods
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Medications
  • Latex

While most allergic reactions are mild and occur in one part of the body, anaphylaxis typically affects several systems of the body at once with severe, life-threatening symptoms.

What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis symptoms usually appear within 30 minutes of exposure to the allergen, but they could take up to an hour.

Warning signs of anaphylaxis may include:

  • Red, itchy rash with hives
  • Swollen throat
  • Swelling in other areas of the body
  • Difficulty swallowing and speaking
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • A sense of impending doom
  • Stomach cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Rapid heartbeat

Without immediate treatment, these symptoms could worsen and lead to cardiac arrest.

What should I do if someone has an anaphylactic reaction?

Get medical help immediately when the first signs of anaphylaxis appear. The Emergency Room of a hospital is most equipped in dealing with this type of emergency. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms go away.

Drs. Benincasa and Luka recommend that patients who are at risk of anaphylaxis carry an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen®) to treat symptoms right away. If there’s an EpiPen available when symptoms arise, administer it immediately.

Even if symptoms improve after an epinephrine injection, you still need to seek emergency medical care. Symptoms may recur in a second reaction called biphasic anaphylaxis.

How do you prevent anaphylaxis?

If you have asthma, allergies, or another condition that increases your risk of anaphylaxis, your doctor will work with you to develop a plan to prevent anaphylaxis. Skin testing and blood tests are often useful in identifying potential causes of anaphylaxis.

The best ways to prevent anaphylaxis are to avoid specific allergens and always be prepared for an emergency. To be ready, your doctor may suggest you:

  • Keep an emergency kit containing an EpiPen and other medications available at all times
  • Wear a medical alert necklace or bracelet to indicate the allergy
  • Notify family, friends, and others you know about your allergies and risk of anaphylaxis

For expert care in managing anaphylaxis, call Consultants in Asthma, Allergy & Immunology or book an appointment online.