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A 40-year-old member asked:

What is an allergic reaction?

7 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Torre
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 52 years experience
Overreaction: An allergic reaction is an overreaction of the immune system by an allergic individual to a substance that is normally harmless. Reactions can include runny or stuffy nose (allergic rhinitis) wheezing and cough (asthma) or skin reactions like eczema or hive. ( a severe reaction can lead to difficult breathing, shock and even death in the case of anaphylaxis.).
Dr. Nanette Nuessle
Specializes in Pediatrics
A chemical reaction: An allergic reaction is when a trigger, either ingested or in the environment, causes the body to release histamine and leukotrienes. The reaction can be either local, like an insect bite or sting, or systemic (widespread throughout the body) such as what happens with ragweed.
Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
Allergy and Immunology 20 years experience
An altered reaction: The roots of "allergy" are from greek "allos" (different) and "ergos" (action). So, an allergic reaction is a "different" (from normal) reaction. The reaction occurs to an allergen. An allergen can be a pollen (ragweed), food (peanut), animal (dust mite or bee venom), or other foreign substances. Symptoms occur due to histamine and other chemicals and cause sneezing, runny nose, etc.
Dr. Linda Green
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 46 years experience
Call your doctor: For mild symptoms i would call your doctor. If there symptoms are severe such as trouble breathing, throat closing, feeling faint you should call 911 and go to the emergency room.
Dr. Linda Green
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 46 years experience
Allergic reaction: Not sure if this is something in the past or recent. Any severe reaction with trouble breathing, throat closing or feeling faint is an emergency and you should call 911 to be taken to the er. For past reactions the treatment will vary according to symptoms and severity. See an allergist to determine the cause and nature of the problem and the best treatment.
Dr. Justin Greiwe
A Verified Doctoranswered
Allergy and Immunology 13 years experience
Allergic Reaction?: Not sure what you mean by allergic reaction. If you are referring to anaphylaxis then epinephrine is the treatment of choice, call 911. Allergic rhinitis is treated with OTC antihistamines, daily intranasal steroid or antihistamine sprays, saline rinses, etc. Allergy shots also an option. Avoidance of triggers is important but see an Allergist first to determine exactly what you are allergic to.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Allergic reaction: If you are experiencing swelling of mouth, throat, tongue or face; are wheezing or having problems breathing - then you need emergency care.

Similar questions

A 42-year-old member asked:

How do I figure out my allergic reaction?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Linda Green
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 46 years experience
Allergic reaction: Allergic reactions can be quite varied. A visit to the allergist can help determine what is triggering your reaction and the best way to manage it.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Why would have a headache after allergic reaction?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Michael H. T. Sia
Pediatrics 32 years experience
Related...: Years of published data and clinical experience suggest that food allergy may be a trigger of recurrent, persistent migraine headaches in a few, but by no means all patients. In such cases, only a few foods trigger migraines and, by limiting or avoiding them, you can experience complete or marked relief without medication. Allergic rhinitis also can trigger headaches dilating blood vessels/brain.
A 37-year-old member asked:

Could I have an allergic reaction to wool?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Javier Chinen
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 31 years experience
Yes: Allergies are inappropriate responses of the immune system to substances that do not cause harm. Non-human animal proteins are common cause of allergic reactions, eg cat allergy and dog allergy. Wool from sheep, alpaca or other animals is similarly able to induce allergic reactions.
A 32-year-old member asked:

What should I do if I have an allergic reaction to a cream?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Michael Zacharisen
Allergy and Immunology 34 years experience
Stop using cream: The most important treatment for medication allergy is to discontinue using it. This includes stopping the cream. Review the ingredients of the cream with your doctor and he/she will help identify the specific trigger so it can be avoided in the future.
Converse, TX
A 25-year-old female asked:

What caused my allergic reaction?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Michael Zacharisen
Allergy and Immunology 34 years experience
Common question: An allergist is frequently asked to identify the cause of the allergic reaction. Reviewing the symptoms is a good start---cough, wheezing, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, itching, eyes puffy, anaphylaxis. There are many triggers of allergic reactions, the most common being pollens, dust, animal dander, foods, medications, insect stings/bites, latex, metals, etc. Finding the cause is key.

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Last updated Jan 8, 2021

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