Anaphylactic reactions are life-threatening, but deaths are rare with most people making a full recovery when they receive the right medical treatment as quickly as possible. If you suffer from anaphylaxis, read our guide to adrenaline auto-injectors and avoiding triggers so you can stop any further episodes in their tracks
What are the first prevention steps?
After your first episode of anaphylaxis, it is important to identify what triggered the reaction in the first place. The substances that trigger allergic reactions are called allergens. Knowing which allergens to avoid will help you prevent it from happening again. Specialist allergy clinics can usually carry out tests to find out what you are allergic to. These tests can include blood tests or skin prick tests and are usually painless with quick results.
How can triggers be avoided?
Once your allergen has been identified the reason for your anaphylaxis episode, keeping away from them should become part of everyday life. Make a point of checking food labels for specific food allergens and if you’re eating out at a restaurant, let staff know about your allergies. Manage medicine allergies by telling healthcare professionals about them so they can provide suitable alternatives. If you’re allergic to insect bites or stings, use an insect repellent when you’re spending time outdoors, especially in the summer when you have a higher risk of being stung.
What are adrenaline auto-injectors?
If you’ve had an anaphylactic reaction in the past, you may be prescribed an adrenaline auto-injector such as an EpiPen. Adrenaline reduces the swelling caused by anaphylaxis and opens the airways. Keep your auto-injector with you at all times and use it as soon as you feel any symptoms. Make sure that you and the people close to you know how to use it properly in case you lose consciousness during a reaction.
Anaphylactic reactions are something you’ll want to avoid, so make sure you’re always prepared and know what to do in the case of an emergency.
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This advice should be used as a guide only and should not replace information provided by a doctor or medical professional.