The treatment of an allergic emergency is related to the severity of the reaction and is particularly common in cases of allergies to food (nuts, etc.) and insect venoms. The affected patients therefore carry an emergency kit for self-help and self-medication, which contains a fast-acting antihistamine, a glucocorticoid and adrenaline (Epi-Pen: syringe with adrenaline).
If the allergic reaction is not reversible after the self-administered measures, a doctor should be consulted immediately. This topic may also be of interest to you: Allergies to food If at first there is only swelling and redness of the exposed area, some general measures should be taken: Interruption of the allergen supply and venous drainage (tourniquet), injection of adrenalin. In addition, the area should be cooled and an antihistamine taken.
If, in addition to the reddening of the skin, other symptoms such as skin rash and itching as well as reactions of the mucous membranes (swelling, discharge) and increased restlessness or headaches occur, the measures should be extended by the administration of a glucocorticoid and the vital signs (blood pressure, pulse) should be checked. If the symptoms worsen (change in vital signs, shortness of breath, stool/urine, anxiety), adrenaline and fluid are administered additionally and the allergic constriction of the lungs is regulated by inhalation of a dilating medication. An allergic emergency can lead to respiratory and circulatory arrest and in this case resuscitation (respiration and cardiac massage) is essential. To prevent these allergic emergencies, it is important to avoid allergens.
Alternative healing methods
In addition to conventional medicine, many patients hope for improvement through alternative healing methods, which are not entirely harmless and can cause allergic reactions. In addition to numerous therapy attempts by means of autohaemotherapy, autohomologous immunotherapy, aroma and colour therapy, bioresonance, which have no studies on effectiveness, there are some homeopathic methods (use of highly diluted active substances), whose effectiveness has been proven for hay fever. There are also indications of effectiveness in the treatment of allergies when using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is based on mixtures of various medicinal plants.
The development of an allergy should be prevented in the same way as the development of an allergic reaction. Primary prevention serves to prevent sensitisation by avoiding favourable situations. These favourable situations include inflammatory processes, such as those caused by cigarette smoke, exhaust gas particles or dust particles, for example in the lungs.
These substances damage skin and mucous membrane barriers and cause an inflammatory reaction. Furthermore, contact with the allergens themselves can be prevented (maternity leave). Measures for primary prevention can be implemented in the occupational environment, for example by wearing protective clothing (gloves, respiratory protection).
In the private sphere, an attempt should be made to have as little contact with allergens as possible and to keep the allergen exposure low, especially in living rooms and bedrooms. If a sensitisation, i.e. an allergy, already exists, secondary prevention should be used to avoid the allergy appearing with symptoms or to prevent a further relapse of the illness by taking a leave of absence (tertiary prevention). In this context it is important to be informed about allergies.
General information such as a pollen count calendar or precise details of ingredients on the packaging are helpful here, but also individual information on how to avoid allergens through counselling sessions or allergy passes. The examples of house dust mite allergy and pollen allergy are to illustrate these preventive measures: With pollen allergies it is above all important to keep the exposure to pollen in living and sleeping rooms as low as possible. This can be achieved by installing pollen filters at the windows, airing the bed linen and, if possible, avoiding open windows.
In addition, one should take a shower in the evening and wash one’s hair to wash out the pollen and not leave the worn clothes in the bedroom. – In the case of pollen allergy, it is especially important to keep the exposure to pollen in the living rooms and bedrooms as low as possible. This is done by installing pollen filters on the windows, airing the bedding and, if possible, avoiding open windows.
In addition, one should take a shower in the evening and wash one’s hair to wash out the pollen and not leave the worn clothes in the bedroom. – Mite-proof mattress covers, as well as special blankets and pillows for allergy sufferers help with house dust mite allergy. Furthermore, it is very important to avoid dust traps and to clean the rooms regularly from dust.