Anyone who has witnessed a person going into anaphylactic shock will understand the seriousness of this condition. Following allergen exposure, an individual may face a rapid onset of life-threatening symptoms that requires immediate anaphylaxis treatment. And while the condition is rare, there’s no way to know whether or not anyone with allergies could face this severe reaction in their lifetime. If you are concerned about the threat of anaphylaxis to yourself or your child, Atlanta allergist Dr. Chacko has some practical solutions.
How to Effectively Prevent Anaphylaxis
Prevention is at the heart of a reliable treatment plan because of the risks involved with an anaphylactic episode.
Get Tested for Allergies
The first step in preventing severe allergic reactions is to understand your allergies. To obtain accurate information about allergy triggers your allergist will conduct testing – usually skin prick or blood testing. This data will be used alongside your medical records (including your history of allergy symptoms and reactions) to make an accurate diagnosis.
Avoid Allergy Triggers
Identifying what causes anaphylaxis allows a person to minimize the risk of exposure to their allergy triggers. Yet in practice, allergen avoidance can actually be somewhat difficult. Food allergies require people to check food ingredient labels stringently and notify restaurant staff when dining out. A child’s teachers (and so on) must also be notified of their allergies.
Getting bitten or stung by an insect is another common cause of anaphylaxis. Avoiding bees and wasps will not always be 100% possible, but wearing long-sleeved clothing (and moving slowly away from insects when sighted) may be helpful.
Take Medication Prescribed by an Allergist
Allergists may recommend taking certain medications to reduce the severity of allergic reactions. For example, antihistamines can be effective at relieving symptoms like itching, inflammation and congestion. In addition, corticosteroids have benefits for nasal congestion and sinusitis symptoms.
Carry an Epinephrine Auto-Injector
While certain medications offer some allergy relief, the most important drug for anaphylaxis is epinephrine. After allergy testing, patients are often prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector for emergency situations. In the event of a severe reaction you would inject the epinephrine as quickly as possible.
Epinephrine works by reversing the effects of an allergic reaction. During a severe response, the immune system floods the body with chemicals, causing a person to go into shock. This medication helps increase blood pressure, open the airways and prevent loss of consciousness.
Get Desensitized to Allergens
Avoidance and medication work as shorter-term solutions to anaphylaxis. However, for a long-term strategy to avoid severe reactions, individuals may undergo allergy desensitization such as immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy. Both of these options encourage the body’s immune system to build a tolerance to the presence of allergens, thereby reducing the possibility of a significant allergic reaction.
Professional Anaphylaxis Prevention and Treatment in the Atlanta Area
At Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center, we help patients who are dealing with severe allergies and anaphylaxis symptoms. Get dependable allergy testing and treatment at locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment today.