Allergies are some of the most common ailments that affect patients at our Costa Mesa medical clinic. Many people think of allergies as minor annoyances, but, like any medical condition, they can interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, and otherwise live their life. Because of that, allergies are something we take very seriously at Xpress Urgent Care.
Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction
There are many different kinds of allergies, and they each come with their own set of symptoms. The easiest way to notice an allergic reaction early is to already know you or someone else is allergic to a certain food or plant, and to keep an eye out for the associated symptoms. These symptoms can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the airway
- Swelling for the tongue, lips, throat, or face
- Runny eyes
- Sneezing or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of consciousness
Minor symptoms like sneezing and runny nose are usually signs of a minor allergy. The more serious symptoms, such as loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing, or intense swelling, are signs of a severe allergy, also known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening condition and requires immediate treatment.
How to Treat an Allergic Reaction
The first step in treating allergic reactions at home is prevention. If you know that certain food items, plants, animals, etc., triggers an allergic reaction in you or a family member, try to avoid them as much as possible. This is especially true with triggers that cause severe reactions. People who have intense anaphylactic reactions to peanuts, shellfish, bee stings, and other triggers that can cause severe allergic reactions should be kept away from them as much as possible. For some people, the thing they’re allergic to doesn’t even need to be ingested or make contact with their skin to cause a reaction.
When someone in your home does have an allergic reaction, the first thing to do is to determine how severe the reaction is. If the person displays serious symptoms like trouble breathing, severe sweating, or vomiting, they need immediate medical attention. Do not try to “wait it out” or to treat them at home; anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening condition, and needs to be treated by a professional immediately. After administering any epinephrine or other medication that has been prescribed to treat allergic reactions, take them to the nearest hospital or emergency clinic, or dial 911 for an ambulance.
Minor allergy symptoms, such as small rashes or runny nose, can be treated at home. For rashes and swelling, apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables to treat itchiness and reduce swelling.
Some allergic reactions, such as hay fever or other seasonal allergies, may require the regular use of medication to control. Antihistamines (such as Allegra and Claritin) are the most common form of anti-allergy medication. Other allergy medications include corticosteroids (Flonase, etc.) and decongestants. A doctor or nurse practitioner can advise you on which of these options is most appropriate for treating your individual allergies.
Are allergies interfering with your daily life? We can help! Contact us today at 949-548-8400.