How to Stop an Allergy Attack

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Allergy attacks can range from simple sneezing fits to severe, potentially fatal shock. Because allergy symptoms can get become life-threatening in an instant, it’s best to act right away instead of seeing if the attack will get worse. Basic first aid for allergy attacks is divided into two categories: severe and mild to moderate. Knowing how to stop and treat a reaction in each instance can help you keep yourself or your child safe and comfortable until the symptoms decrease or the paramedics arrive.


Mild to Moderate

Step 1

Locate the allergen and remove it if possible. If it’s a bee sting, try to remove it with your fingernail by scraping across the bite’s surface instead of using tweezers. Tweezers can squeeze more venom into the body and worsen the reaction. Try moving to another room if you can’t locate the source of your allergy attack.

Step 2

Administer over-the-counter antihistamines, like Benadryl, to suppress the reaction and relieve symptoms. Apply a cold compress or ice pack to areas with light swelling. Treat rashes with over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

Step 3

Pay careful attention to make sure your symptoms don’t worsen. If they do, call your doctor immediately to make sure you don’t need medical attention.

Severe Reactions

Step 1

Call 911 right away if you’ve been exposed to something you know you’re seriously allergic to. Don’t wait for an allergy attack to come on or get worse.

Step 2

Locate your emergency medications or epinephrine injector and administer the medication according to your doctor’s exact instructions. To use an epinephrine injector, remove the safety cap and jab the injector against your outer thigh with firm pressure. Hold it firmly in place for 10 seconds before removing it.

Step 3

Perform emergency first aid if you’re in the presence of someone having a severe allergy attack. Lay him flat on his back and check his pulse and breathing. Perform CPR until medics arrive. If he’s breathing and his heart is beating, elevate his legs and cover him up to keep him warm.

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