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 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:
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.
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:
Without immediate treatment, these symptoms could worsen and lead to cardiac arrest.
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.
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:
For expert care in managing anaphylaxis, call Consultants in Asthma, Allergy & Immunology or book an appointment online.