Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reactions – the extreme end of the allergy spectrum – and is life-threatening. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency, and requires immediate treatment. Symptoms include life-threatening airway and/or breathing difficulty. Blood pressure can drop rapidly causing dizziness/fainting.
Common symptoms of a mild allergic reaction include:
Hives (especially over the neck and face)
Watery, red eyes
Symptoms of a moderate or severe reaction include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds
- Chest discomfort or tightness
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Flushing or redness of the face
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
- Call 112.
- Calm and reassure the person.
- If the allergic reaction is from a bee sting, scrape the stinger off the skin with something firm (such as a fingernail or plastic credit card). Do not use tweezers -- squeezing the stinger will release more venom.
- If the person has emergency allergy medication on hand, help the person take or inject the medication. Avoid oral medication if the person is having difficulty breathing.
- Take steps to prevent shock.
Call for medical assistance (112) right away if:
- The person is having a severe allergic reaction. Do not wait to see if the reaction is getting worse.
- The person has a history of severe allergic reactions (check for a medical ID tag).