If you or your child has severe allergies, you may be worried that one day you will find yourself facing an allergy emergency. This is a common worry, especially if your allergen is something in your environment all the time. Luckily, allergy emergencies can be handled quickly and efficiently if you have a plan in place.

What Is an Allergy?

An allergy is actually an abnormal reaction to a substance. Allergens are the substances that can cause these abnormal reactions such as pet hair, insects and certain foods. In a person with an allergy, the immune system reacts the wrong way to a substance and attacks it, causing symptoms such as sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, rashes, and sometimes even dangerous that affects a person’s ability to breathe.

What is an Allergy Emergency?

An allergy emergency happens when someone encounters a known allergen and begins to suffer what is known as anaphylaxis. This occurs when the overreaction of the immune system to the allergen closes off entries into the body. This can cause throat swelling, trouble breathing, low blood pressure, chest pain, headache, and even death.

Steps to Take in an Allergy Emergency

Those with allergies must always be prepared for when they have an allergy attack after encountering an allergen. Keeping medication on you such as Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and Epinephrine (Epi-pen) can be lifesaving. For a mild reaction, not involving breathing issues, taking an antihistamine should stop the symptoms. However, for an , the procedure begins before something ever happens. Being prepared is key.

Make sure to inform those you are with of your known allergies and severity as well as how to recognize the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis. Make sure everyone, including yourself, understands and knows how to use the Epi-pen in an emergency.

At the first knowledge of coming into contact a severe allergen administer the Epinephrine (Epi pen). Then, you, or someone around you, must contact emergency services for further treatment and evaluation.