People that suffer from food allergies do everything in their power to avoid allergens. Yet, circumstances like hidden ingredients and poor food handling practices can lead to unfortunate scenarios. However, no matter the cause, in the event of a reaction, it's critical to react and to do so right away.
Don't Rely on the Past
Never rely on the past as a measure of how you should react in the event that you come in contact with an allergen. The reason it's so critical not to make this mistake is the fact that the body has a mind of its own. Take someone who is allergic to seafood, for instance.
In the past, all their reactions were restricted to itchy and watery eyes, hives, and mild abdominal pain. However, over time, the body has begun to produce an anaphylactic response instead, which can prove to be fatal. For this reason, it's vital to take every reaction seriously and not to minimize your reaction based on the reactions you've had in the past.
Don't make the assumption that you know everything about allergic reactions. While itchy skin and eyes, tingling, and swollen lips are common reactions, they don't stop there. People with food allergies can experience vomiting, diarrhea, congestion, wheezing, swelling of the throat, and even fainting.
If you know you've come in contact with an allergen, and you experience any symptom that makes you feel different, you should seek medical treatment right away. Again, your body's reaction to allergens can change over time, so it's a good idea to seek treatment in order to ensure your reaction is under control.
Understand Delayed Responses
Just because you feel okay after you've come in contact with an allergen, that doesn't mean you're in the clear. One factor that people sometimes forget about is a scenario called late-phase allergic reactions. These sorts of reactions don't typically produce any sort of reaction until several hours after exposure to an allergen.
For this reason, a person could come in contact with an allergen in the morning and not start to experience any problems until night. Particularly when it comes to children, this type of reaction is especially dangerous, as the child might not express any changes in how they feel to their parent. Whenever a person comes in contact with an allergen, it's helpful to visit a medical provider even if there aren't immediate concerns.
Whether it's you, a loved one, a coworker, or anyone else, it's important to take action and seek medical treatment. For more information on responding to an allergic reaction, you can visit an urgent care facility in your area.