About anaphylaxis

What is anaphylaxis?

When a person suffers from allergies, certain allergens can trigger a reaction and cause swelling in the body. While most of the time, these conditions are not life-threatening, there are instances when the throat swells up so much that it restricts the airflow to the lungs while chemicals responsible for attacking the allergen flood the system resulting in blood pressure drop and waker heart rate. This condition or allergic reaction is known as Anaphylaxis and the person undergoes an anaphylactic shock. People who suffer from severe allergies, especially allergies related to food and animal hair, are at greater risk of suffering from anaphylaxis. When the person suffers from an anaphylactic shock, administration of an epinephrine shot is necessary to prevent the person from collapsing.



What are the treatments for anaphylaxis?

A person undergoing anaphylactic shock requires immediate treatment. This is done by injecting the person with epinephrine and then calling an ambulance for the person to get hospitalized. Since it is an allergic reaction, anaphylaxis does not have a fixed treatment as the symptoms and severity vary from person to person. If the person is given drugs to treat their inflammation, it can be counter-productive if the person is seen to have an adverse reaction to that specific medication. Hence, unless the exact cause of the allergic reaction is determined, the treatment for anaphylaxis will rely on firstly diagnosing the person to find out the allergen and then treating them with medications. Lifestyle changes and opting for face masks are also advised.



Is there a cure/medications for anaphylaxis?

As of now, there is no permanent cure for anaphylaxis. Since this is caused by allergens and is a severe form of an allergic reaction, the best way to prevent an attack is to keep those allergens at bay. Living life with anaphylaxis can be a bit difficult, especially if the triggering allergen is something as common as animal dander like dog or cat hair. The preventive measure also includes carrying epinephrine shot injectors in case of emergencies. Some commonly used medications are antihistamines and cortisone. These are often used intravenously to quickly control the inflammation of the throat. In order to alleviate breathing difficulty, a beta-agonist like albuterol is used.



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