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Allergic reactions do not happen the first time you come into

contact with an allergen, but at a later point of contact.

This is because the bodys immune system has to develop
sensitivity to the allergen before you can become allergic to it. In
other words, your immune system needs to recognise and
memorise the allergen (for example, pet hair or pollen) and then
make antibodies against it. This process is known as
The time taken to become sensitised to an allergen varies from
days to years. Some people stop in the sensitisation phase,
experiencing symptoms but never fully developing an allergy to
the allergen.
Typical allergic reactions involve irritation and inflammation
(swelling) in the body. Symptoms may include:
sinus pain (pressure or pain high up in the nose, around the eyes and at the front of the skull)
runny nose
nettle rash (hives)
itchy eyes, ears, lips, throat and palate (roof of mouth)
shortness of breath
sickness, vomiting and diarrhoea
It is important to remember that these symptoms can also be
caused by other conditions, so see your GP for advice if you're
not sure what's causing your symptoms.
In very rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic
reaction called anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.
Most allergic reactions occur locally in a particular part of the
body, such as the nose, eyes or skin. In anaphylaxis, the allergic
reaction involves the whole body and usually happens within
minutes of coming into contact with a particular allergen.
The symptoms of anaphylactic shock can include any or all of the
swelling of the throat and mouth
difficulty swallowing or speaking
difficulty breathing
a rash anywhere on the body
flushing and itching of the skin
stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting
a sudden feeling of weakness due to a fall in blood pressure
collapse and unconsciousness

Allergy symptoms depend on your particular allergy, and can involve the airways, sinuses
and nasal passages, skin, and digestive system. Allergic reactions can range from mild to
severe. In some severe cases, allergies can trigger a life-threatening reaction in your body
known as anaphylaxis.
Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, may cause:
Itchy, runny nose
Itchy, watery or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)
Atopic dermatitis, an allergic skin condition also called eczema, may cause:
Itchy skin
Red skin
Flaking or peeling skin
A food allergy may cause:
Tingling mouth
Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat
An insect sting allergy may cause:
A large area of swelling (edema) at the sting site
Itching or hives all over your body
Cough, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath
A drug allergy may cause:
Itchy skin
Facial swelling
Some types of allergies, including allergies to foods and insect stings, have the potential to
trigger a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis. A life-threatening medical emergency, this
reaction can cause you to go into shock. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
Loss of consciousness
Severe shortness of breath
A rapid, weak pulse
Skin rash
Nausea and vomiting
Swelling airways, which can block breathing
When to see a doctor
You may want to see a doctor if you have symptoms you think may be caused by an allergy,
especially if you notice something in your environment that seems to trigger your allergies. If
you have symptoms after starting a new medication, call the doctor who prescribed it right
For a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), call 911 or your local emergency number or
seek emergency medical help. If you carry an epinephrine auto-injector (such as EpiPen,
EpiPen Jr or Twinject), give yourself a shot right away. Even if symptoms improve after an
emergency epinephrine injection, a visit to the emergency department is still necessary to
make sure symptoms don't return when the effects of the injection wear off.
If you've had a severe allergy attack or any signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis in the past,
make an appointment to see your doctor. Evaluation, diagnosis and long-term management
of anaphylaxis are complicated, so you'll probably need to see a doctor who specializes in
allergies and immunology.

Signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms of a food allergic reaction may occur almost immediately after eating or most often within 20 minutes
to 2 hours after eating. Rapid onset and development of potentially life threatening symptoms are characteristic markers of
Allergic symptoms may initially appear mild or moderate but can progress very quickly. The most dangerous allergic reactions
(anaphylaxis) involve the respiratory system (breathing) and/or cardiovascular system (heart and blood pressure).
Common signs and symptoms
Mild to moderate allergic reaction Severe allergic reaction- ANAPHYLAXIS
Hives, welts or body redness - View example Difficult and/or noisy breathing
Swelling of the face, lips, eyes - View example Swelling of the tongue
Vomiting, abdominal pain (these are signs of a
severe allergic reation/anaphylaxis in someone with
severe insect allery)
Swelling or tightness in the throat
Tingling of the mouth Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
Wheeze or persistent cough
Persistent dizziness or collapse in its place
Pale and floppy (in young children)