The diagnosis of allergy with a risk of anaphylactic reactions is made based on the patient’s history. Anaphylaxis will be suspected if you have symptoms and have been exposed to a likely allergen. It is important to see a doctor who specializes in allergies (allergist/immunologist). Skin tests and sometimes blood tests can done by allergy specialists to confirm the cause of the reaction.
Avoiding substances that trigger anaphylaxis is the best prevention. In addition:
Allergy shots can decrease the risk of anaphylaxis and reduce the severity of the reactions to certain triggers.
Wear a medical alert bracelet that lists your allergies.
Tell your doctor or dentist about your allergies before taking any medication. When possible, ask that medications be taken as a pill. Allergic reactions can be more severe with injected medications.
Your doctor may give you a self-injectable epinephrine kit to keep with you at home, work, in the car, and when you travel. Be sure family and friends know how to use the kit too.
Get training from your doctor and practice using it in the doctor's office.
Make sure your epinephrine kit is not expired.
Avoid any exercise that triggers a reaction. In some cases, exercise-induced anaphylaxis can be triggered by food or specific food allergies. Stop exercising at the first sign of a reaction.
Make sure the school nurse and teachers know about any allergies your child has. If your child has self-injectable epinephrine, make sure school staff knows how to use it and understand when it is needed.
If you are allergic to insect stings, wear protective clothing when outside.
Always remain in the doctor or dentist's office 30 minutes after you have an injection. Report any symptoms right away.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.