Allergic Reaction: Types, Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment


Allergies are a reaction of the body’s natural defense system that helps fight the immune system. The immune system usually protects the body from viruses and microorganism by producing antibodies to fight. An allergic reaction, the immune system starts to fight substances that are sometimes harmless (such as dirt mites, pollen, or a medicine) like these substances were attempting to attack the body. This reaction will cause a rash, itchy eyes, and a runny nose, bother respiration, nausea, and diarrhea.

Many people can have some problem with allergies or allergic reactions for some purpose in their lives. Only in the United States, more than 30% of the adults and 40% of the children have some kinds of allergies[1].


Allergic reactions will vary from delicate and annoying to sudden and severe. Most allergic reactions are sensitive, and residential treatment will relieve several of the symptoms. An allergic reaction is additional serious once severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) happens, once allergies cause alternative issues (such as nosebleeds, ear issues, wheezing, or coughing), or once home treatment does not help. Allergies usually occur in conjunction with different diseases, like an asthma attack, ear infections, sinusitis, and sleep disorder.

An allergic reaction might not occur the first time you’re exposed to an allergy-producing substance (allergen). The first time a bee injures you, you’ll have only pain and redness from the sting. If you’re injured once more, you’ll have hives or bother respiration. The response of the immune system can cause this.


Why does an Allergic Reaction Happen?

The body’s immune system has an important job to do; it defends your body from factors that cause health hazards, like bacteria and viruses. During contact with these kinds of factors, the immune system produces antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that deliver a message to the cells that trigger Histamine, which causes the blood vessels to expand and triggers allergy symptoms. Antibodies target only one type of allergens; this is the reason that some people might be allergic to eggs but not peanuts.

Types of an Allergic Reaction

  • Food allergies- that are a lot of common in kids than adults. Food allergies are most typical in those who have a genetic tendency to develop allergic conditions. These people are additional possible to possess an asthma attack and different allergies.
  • Medicine allergies- several prescription and nonprescription medicines will cause a hypersensitive reaction. Allergic reactions are common and unpredictable. The seriousness of the hypersensitive reaction caused by a particular drug can vary.
  • Allergies to insect venom- once an insect, poisons injure you, and different toxins within the insect’s venom enter your skin. It’s traditional to possess some swelling, redness, pain, and itchiness at the location of a string. A hypersensitive reaction to the sting happens once your body’s immune system overreacts to the venom of stinging insects.
  • Allergies to animals- that are a lot of probably to cause respiration issues than skin issues. You will be allergic to your pet’s dead skin (dander), urine, dried secretion, or hair.
  • Allergies to natural rubber latex-. Some individuals develop allergic reactions when continual contact with latex, particularly latex gloves.
  • Allergies that develop from exposure to a selected inhaled substance within the workplace. These are known as an activity asthma attack.
  • Allergies to cosmetics, like artificial nails, hair extensions, and henna tattoos.

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction

The symptoms of an allergic reaction will vary from gentle to a severe allergic reaction. It becomes exposed to a substance for the first time; symptoms are also mild. These symptoms might deteriorate if repeatedly get contact with the allergen.


Signs of an allergic reaction typically appear within minutes to several hours of being in contact with allergic factors. Allergic reaction to food can affect your skin, gastrointestinal tracts, respiratory system, and in a most severe case, cardiovascular system, which may lead to life-threatening situations or even death.

Always remember that signs of an allergic reaction cannot be predicted. The first sign of the allergic reaction might be mild, a gentle allergic reaction; however, the symptoms can be worse.

Symptoms of a gentle allergic reaction will include:

  • Itchy, swollen, reddish spots on the skin or hives
  • Itching (Eczema flare)
  • nasal congestion (known as rhinitis)
  • rash
  • rough throat
  • Dry Cough
  • watery or restless eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Sneezing
  • Nausea and Vomiting

Severe allergic reactions will cause subsequent symptoms:

Symptoms of Allergic Reaction Due to Food

  • Odd taste in the mouth
  • Swollen lips, face, throat or tongue
  • Anaphylaxis

Signs of Allergic Reaction due to Hay Fever

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Itchy eyes, the nose or the roof of the mouth
  • Watery eyes
  • Red or Swollen eyes
  • Sneezing

Signs of Allergic Reaction Due to Insect

  • Itching or hives all over the body (most common)
  • If insect sting, a large area of swelling at the sting site
  • Cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath
  • Anaphylaxis

Symptoms of Allergic Reaction due to drugs

  • Facial swelling
  • Hives all over the body
  • Itchy skin and rashes
  • Anaphylaxis

A severe and unexpected allergic reaction will develop at intervals seconds once exposed to an allergen. This kind of reaction is known as anaphylaxis and ends up in severe symptoms, together with swelling of the airway, inability to breathe, and an unexpected and severe drop in pressure. If experience this kind of allergic reaction, get immediate emergency to facilitate. While not treatment, this condition may end up in death within 15 minutes.

What is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe kind of allergic reaction which can lead the patient to a life-threatening situation. The most common anaphylaxis reactions are due to allergic food, insect sting, medications, and latex.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

Symptoms of anaphylaxis are common to other allergic reaction. However, the key difference is that Anaphylaxis symptoms occur within minutes of exposure to an allergen.

  • Pale or flushed skin
  • Itching and hives
  • Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)
  • Shortness of breath due to constriction of airways, swollen tongue and throat
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Dizziness or fainting

Which Part of The Body May be Affected?

Different people experience different symptoms, depending on the allergen and where it enters the body. An allergic reaction can happen in any part of the body or any parts of the body at the same time.


Allergic Reaction on your skin

Skin problems that are triggered by the allergic reaction are hives (Urticaria) and eczema (dermatitis).

Eyes, Nose, Throat, Sinuses

When you breadth in allergens, the release of histamine causes the lining of the nose to produce mucus, becomes inflamed and swollen. It causes itchy eyes, itchy and sore throat, and sneezing. Eyes may start to turn red and watery.

Chest and Lungs

When an allergen is breathed in, it can irritate your lungs, causes difficulties in breathing and swollen lungs. And asthma can be triggered during an allergic reaction.

Stomach and Bowel

Foods that cause allergy to some people are peanuts, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. Lactose intolerance causes stomach upsets; however, it should not be confused with allergy.

Diagnosis of an Allergic Reaction

An immunologist often referred to as an allergist is a doctor, best qualified to treat your allergic diseases. If you encounter any of the symptoms mentioned above, immediately concern with your doctor first. After that, the doctor will diagnose whether or not you have an allergy. For this, the doctor or allergist will ask you about your medical background or history and do a physical exam. The doctor might want to order tests to see what’s inflicting allergic reaction. The most usually ordered styles of allergic reaction tests are:

  • skin tests
  • Oral Food Challenge (elimination-type) tests
  • blood tests

A skin test involves applying a small quantity of a suspected matter to the skin and expecting a reaction. The substance could also be taped to the skin (patch test), applied via a little prick to the skin (prick test), or injected just below the skin (intradermal test). A diagnostic test is most useful for diagnosing:

  • food allergy
  • mold, pollen, and animal dander allergic reaction
  • penicillin allergic reaction
  • venom allergic reaction (such as mosquito bites or bee stings)
  • allergic dermatitis (a rash get from touching a substance)

Oral Food Challenge (OFC) testing is helpful in the diagnosis of food allergies[2]. It involves removing a food item from your diet for many weeks and expecting symptoms after you eat the food once more. Do not ever diagnose a food allergy on your own. The doctor will start with feeding you a minimal amount of food that is unlikely to trigger the symptoms. In this period, the healthcare professional will watch you for a while for any signs of a reaction.

A blood test for an allergic reaction checks your blood for antibodies against a potential allergen. An antibody may be a supermolecule your body produces to fight harmful substances. Blood tests are a possibility once skin testing isn’t useful or possible.

Treatment of Allergic Reaction

If expertise an allergic reaction and don’t recognize what’s causing it, you’ll need to see your doctor to see what the reason behind your allergic reaction. Once your allergy triggers are identified, the allergist can help you with the treatment plans that are right for you.

If you have got a common allergic reaction, you’ll not look for treatment if your symptoms are gentle. In most cases, over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines, like antihistamine (Benadryl), may be useful for controlling gentle allergic reactions[3].

Allergic Reaction Treatment includes:

Allergen avoidance

The essential step in preventing an allergic reaction is to avoid allergens. The doctor will help you to identify and avoid allergens that trigger the allergy.

Adrenaline Injection

The first line method for life-threatening allergic reaction is to inject adrenaline (epinephrine) into outer mid-thigh muscles. Adrenaline rapidly reverses the effects of anaphylaxis. This includes reducing throat swelling, maintaining blood pressure, maintaining heart function, reduce throat swelling.



Depending on your allergy, the doctor will prescribe you medications. Medications for allergies can help reduce your immune system reaction to an allergy and ease symptoms. Diagnosing your symptoms, the allergist can suggest you over-the-counter or prescribed medicines in the form of, pills, liquid medication, nasal sprays, or eye drops. Antihistamines (Over The Counter) can help treat minor allergic reactions regardless of the cause. Antihistamines are available at your pharmacies or buy online. Over-the-counter medication can be taken to prevent an allergic reaction as well. People with a seasonal allergy or people with pet allergies can take antihistamines when they know they are going to be exposed to an allergen. However, women who are pregnant should consult their doctor before taking antihistamines.

Use a saline sinus rinse

When an allergen causes the sinus problem, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) recommends people to rinse their sinuses with saline[4]. Using Saline can remove allergens and clear the airways.

The saline recipe recommended by AAAI:

  • First, mix three tablespoons of non-iodide salt with one tablespoon of baking soda,
  • Now, add one tablespoon of the mixture to eight ounces of boiled water,
  • Dissolve the mixture in the water and use as a saline rinse.


Allergen Immunotherapy also is known as desensitization, reduces severe allergy symptoms or allergies that are not completely relieved by other treatments. Immunotherapy includes a series of injections or sublingual tablets, sprays or drops of purified allergen extracts that are usually given over 3-5 years.

Emergency Epinephrine

People with allergies usually have emergency medications with them like an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen, Auvi-Q). Epinephrine shot could be a “rescue drug,” it opens the airways and raises the pressure, which reduces symptoms until you get emergency treatment.

Prevention of Allergic Reaction

The best way to prevent yourself from an allergic reaction is to avoid products, foods, or any allergen that causes you an allergic reaction. Also, once you determine your allergic reaction, you can:

  • If you have allergy with a certain food, like peanuts, fish products like oil meat, eggs, milk, soy, etc. read the label carefully before consuming packed food. Some food product might contain these foods that will trigger your allergic reaction. Also, ask your chef or the restaurant to strictly avoid mixing foods to your dish that causes your allergic reaction. Even a small amount of food that causes you allergy can cause a severe reaction.
  • If you are allergies to certain types of insect, use caution around them. Wear full sleeved shirts and pants, avoid walking barefoot. If you come across these insects, stay calm and move away slowly.
  • Always keep prescribed medicine with you. You need to keep the first aid emergency kit with you wherever you go.
  • If you are allergic to a certain kind of medicine, make sure that you alert doctors, you are allergic to a particular type of medication.
  • Wear a medical alert necklace or bracelet. This will notify people around you that you have an allergy to specific substance, insects, drugs, or foods. Using tags or bracelet will help when you react, and you’re unable to communicate.

You may not be able to avoid an allergy entirely; however, these steps will help you to stop future allergic reactions.

causes of allergic reaction







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