Severe Allergic Reaction
Severe Allergic Reaction Facts
- Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that occurs rapidly and causes a life-threatening response involving the whole body. This reaction can lead to difficulty breathing and shock ultimately leading to death.
- For an anaphylactic reaction to occur, you must have been exposed in the past to the substance that causes the reaction, called the antigen. This is called "sensitization."
- A bee sting, for example, may not cause an allergic reaction the first time.
- Another bee sting may produce a sudden, severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.
- These reactions usually occur within seconds to minutes of exposure. Occasionally, they are delayed.
- You may develop sensitivity and anaphylaxis to a substance that you have been exposed to many times in the past without a reaction, and often people don't recall the previous exposure.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/24/2016
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
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