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Be ready for a severe allergy emergency.

General Allergic Reaction, Ambulatory Care

A general allergic reaction

is your body's response to an allergen. Allergens include medicines, food, insect stings, animal dander, mold, latex, chemicals, and dust mites. Pollen from trees, grass, and weeds can also cause an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction can cause one or more symptoms.

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • A skin rash, hives, swelling, or itching that gets worse
  • Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing
  • Tightened or swollen throat, or your lips or tongue swell
  • Trouble swallowing or speaking
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, or confusion
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal cramps
  • Chest pain or tightness

Treatment for a general allergic reaction

may include medicines to relieve certain allergy symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and swelling. You may take them as a pill or use drops in your nose or eyes. Topical treatments may be given to put directly on your skin to help decrease itching or swelling.

Manage allergic reactions:

  • Avoid the allergen that you think may have caused your allergic reaction.
  • Use cold compresses on your skin or eyes if they were affected by the allergic reaction. Cold compresses may help to soothe your skin or eyes.
  • Rinse your nasal passages with a saline solution. Daily rinsing may help clear your nose of allergens.
  • Do not smoke. Your allergy symptoms may decrease if you are not around smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask your healthcare provider for information about how to stop if you need help quitting.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.