Unlike getting the flu or a cold, allergy symptoms aren’t the same across the board. Depending on the type of allergy you have and how severe it is, your reaction could be completely different than another person’s. However, there are many things you can look out for that could signal an allergic reaction. Recognizing these signs could help stop a potentially life-threatening situation in its tracks.
One sign of an allergic reaction is hives. Raised, itchy, and often red bumps may pop up on your skin if you consume or come into contact with an allergen. This happens because your body releases histamine, a chemical that irritates your skin and causes the hives. These raised red patches or itchy bumps aren’t always the result of allergies. Extreme temperatures or stress can also cause hives, so be sure to consult with an allergist.
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Watery, itchy eyes are common eye symptoms in people who have pet dander or pollen allergies, since the airborne particles can get into your eye area and irritate it. Sneezing and an itchy throat can also be caused by airborne allergens as well as foods. Sometimes, oral medications can help combat these symptoms.
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More serious signs you’re having an allergic reaction include a swollen tongue and/or lips, face swelling, or anaphylactic shock. This severe, multi-system reaction can include swelling of the mouth and airways, hives, vomiting, and trouble breathing. Contact 911 and use a medication like an Epi-Pen, which contains epinephrine (if you have one).