Allergies are the worst. You feel awful without the excuse of being ill. Except you are ill. Your body is over-reacting to something, causing symptoms that feel like a cold. These symptoms can make everyday life difficult. Allergies can range from mild seasonal symptoms (hay fever) to very severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
When to Call 911 – Anaphylaxis
Call 911 or seek immediate medical assistance in cases of anaphylactic shock. This is an extreme reaction to an allergen. Anaphylactic shock is rare, and most individuals get better. However, it can be life-threatening. You may have:
Hypotension-low blood pressure
Wheezing to the point of being unable to breathe
Loss of consciousness, fainting, or passing out
If you have an EpiPen(R), use it and have someone call for immediate emergency medical help. Otherwise, emergency personnel may give you a shot of epinephrine to stop the symptoms. They will then take you to the emergency room for further treatment.
Common Triggers Include:
Peanuts and tree nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, pine nuts)
Fish and shellfish (crawfish, shrimp, lobster, crab)
Milk, eggs, soy, wheat
Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
Stings or bites from bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and fire ants
Latex found in hospital gloves, balloons, or rubber bands
Most of us have had seasonal allergy symptoms, also known as hay fever. During growing seasons, plants spread pollen through the air and, when breathed in, can be seen as a threat by your body. This will then cause an allergic reaction.
Some plants, such as ragweed, mountain cedar, and sagebrush, are worse than others for causing allergies. Allergies are also caused by grass pollen and tree pollen, especially birch, cedar, and oak.
You may not be able to prevent all allergic symptoms, but you can do things to make the symptoms better:
- Stay inside where it’s air-conditioned during peak pollen times, usually morning and evening.
Take a thorough bath or shower before bedtime or right after working or playing outdoors.
Take off your shoes when in the house
Keep the windows closed
Rinse out nasal passages with saline sprays
How Do You Know It Isn’t A Cold?
Allergies and colds do tend to share the same symptoms. However, if you have a cold you are more likely to have the following symptoms, along with the stuffy nose and sneezing:
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