Allergy reactions



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)


Nasal congestion


Watery, red eyes

Symptoms of a moderate or severe reaction include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds
  • Anxiety
  • Chest discomfort or tightness
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Flushing or redness of the face
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
  • Unconsciousness
  • Wheezing

First aid

  1. Call 112.
  2. Calm and reassure the person.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
Be Safe from Anaphylaxis-Mayo Clinic