Allergic reactions are hypersensitive reactions that occur when the immune system responds abnormally to common substances like pollen, dust or certain foods. Allergic reactions are common and often mild, however some can be dangerous or even life threatening if left untreated.
Common types of allergic reactions
Here are four types of allergic reactions:
- Anaphylactic reaction
This is an exaggerated sensitivity to allergens like pollen, animal dander, dust mites or certain foods. It causes the release of histamines and other chemicals, which leads to inflammation and swelling.
- Cytotoxic reaction
Cytotoxic reactions occur when antibodies destroy cells in the body. Typical allergens include pollens, drugs, lints, bacteria, foods, dyes or chemicals.
- Immunocomplex reaction
This is an abnormal immune response to the body’s own antibodies. It can affect the skin, tissue, joints and blood vessels. Immunocomplex reactions occur in those with lupus, serum sickness and Arthus reaction.
- Cell-mediated reaction
This is a delayed allergic reaction often occurring after 24 hours of exposure to the allergen. This occurs in many long-term infectious diseases like tuberculosis and fungal infections. Allergic reactions to certain metals may also belong to this type.
Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction
Common signs of an allergic reaction include:
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose
- Itchy, red or watering eyes
- Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- A raised, itchy red rash
- Swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- Stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dry, red or cracked skin
Visit Coastal Urgent Care of Bossier/Haughton for expert diagnosis and treatment of severe allergic reactions. We are experts in recognizing the signs of allergic reactions and can help treat your symptoms. We’re open daily for immediate, walk-in treatment.