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Anaphylaxis Definition: What is Anaphylaxis?

Severe Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)

anaphylaxis definition

Anaphylaxis is an emergency when someone has an allergic reaction that causes their airways to close up. What happens is that the allergy causes your immune system to release chemicals called histamines to react against the allergen. This allergic reaction may represent mild symptoms of itchy skin, runny eyes and nose. However, a severe allergic reaction often result in symptoms of difficulty in breathing, swallowing, wheezing, and breathlessness due to swelling of the airways; eventually, the person loses consciousness and stops breathing.

This blog is for healthcare professionals and people working outdoors likely to encounter an anaphylaxis incident. This blog will signpost the Anaphylaxis courses we deliver on how to give first aid for Anaphylaxis. These courses teach you the life-saving skills to help and support those with an anaphylaxis reaction. So, whether you're an emergency medical professional, a lifeguard, or just running an errand, ensure you are up-to-date with the latest treatments and protocols for treating Anaphylaxis.

What is Anaphylaxis?

Anyone can experience an allergic reaction, but it's hazardous for those with severe allergies. Anaphylaxis is an anaphylactic reaction that can be life-threatening and can occur instantly. If you experience any signs or symptoms of an Anaphylactic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of Anaphylaxis can include trouble breathing, dizziness, and shock. It is crucial to understand what Anaphylaxis involves and how to treat it. The emergency medicine, Epinephrine (adrenaline), boosts the body's immune system to fight off the allergy attack.

Signs and Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

Suppose you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms of Anaphylaxis. In that case, it's time to seek medical attention: swelling around the mouth or throat, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and red eyes. You must immediately get to an emergency room if you notice these symptoms. With the help of an allergy specialist, you may be able to get treatment and prevent Anaphylaxis from turning into an even worse situation. Remember, Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction and is not something to take lightly. Watch for the symptoms and take appropriate action if you experience them.

What causes Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can occur very quickly. Symptoms of Anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, pale skin, and a fast heart rate. It can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Most often, foods or medications trigger the symptoms of Anaphylaxis—however, it can also be brought about by other things, such as wasp or insect stings or latex allergies. Antibiotics can cause allergic reactions that can lead to Anaphylaxis. Shellfish is another common cause of severe reactions presenting in a medical emergency. Although there is no one cause of Anaphylaxis, it can happen due to many different things. Knowing the allergy symptoms and triggers helps you avoid them in the first place and get help if an allergy occurs accidentally.

Does pollen cause anaphylaxis?

Anyone who enjoys going outside should know Anaphylaxis's symptoms, ranging from mild to life-threatening. If you have been prescribed by your doctor to use an epinephrine autoinjector for, e.g., EpiPen, remember to always carry it with you in an emergency! Pollen can trigger allergic reactions even if you have never had a response before. If you are at risk for severe allergies to certain types of pollen, then keep this in mind when heading out into nature. Knowing how allergies work is the first step to avoiding them altogether!

What are the symptoms of Anaphylaxis?

Anyone can experience Anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction that can cause trouble breathing, dizziness, extreme anxiety and even death. The symptoms of Anaphylaxis can vary from person to person and are often unpredictable. We emphasise why it is so important to spot the signs and symptoms of Anaphylaxis and seek medical assistance immediately. The most common symptoms of Anaphylaxis are a sudden onset of breathing problems (known as asthma-like symptoms), an increased heart rate or blood pressure, nausea and vomiting. If you experience mild symptoms, it is always best to call the emergency services immediately. A diagnosis of Anaphylaxis requires a combination of two or more signs/symptoms.

When do symptoms of Anaphylaxis start?

If you're ever uncertain of what symptoms to look out for when it comes to Anaphylaxis, consider the following: symptoms can start suddenly and progress rapidly. In severe cases, Anaphylaxis can even be life-threatening - so always carry emergency medication with you in case of such an event. Epinephrine (Adrenalin) and leukotriene inhibitors (anti-inflammatory drugs) are two medications that can help treat an allergic reaction effectively. Suppose you identify any of the following symptoms in someone experiencing an allergy. In that case, it is time to seek medical help: shortness of breath, chest pain, itching skin or difficulty breathing or swallowing.

What is biphasic Anaphylaxis?

If you're unfamiliar with biphasic Anaphylaxis, it is an allergic reaction in two phases. During the first phase of Anaphylaxis an affected person will have mild symptoms such as itching, redness and swelling. However, the second phase is Anaphylaxis, when the person has a life-threatening reaction. To avoid serious complications, always seek medical attention if you experience any signs or symptoms: difficulty breathing, dizziness, light-headedness, etcetera. Remember – only give medical help if you are genuinely in danger of experiencing a life-threatening reaction!

Anaphylactic Shock Definition: What is anaphylactic shock?

anaphylactic shock definition

Anaphylactic shock is a life-threatening condition that can result from an allergic reaction. Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and sweating. If you display any signs described above, it is essential to know what to do to save yourself from serious injury or death. If you think someone may have an anaphylactic shock, the best thing to do is call 999 and administer first aid as quickly as possible!

What should I do if someone near me is going into anaphylactic shock?

If you or someone near you is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is essential to seek medical attention, as Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening. By taking steps to prevent Anaphylaxis, everyone around you will be safer and may even avoid a severe allergic reaction altogether. To do this, always be aware of your surroundings and know what signs indicate that something may cause an allergic reaction in you or someone else. If Anaphylaxis occurs, administer adrenaline (Epinephrine) shots immediately for emergency treatment - without delay could mean the difference between life and death!

Guidance for Parents

All parents must be aware of Anaphylaxis's warning signs and symptoms, as it could save their lives. If you or someone experiences any such symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. It is always handy to teach your children about allergies and how to recognise the warning signs of Anaphylaxis- something that will ultimately protect them from this life-threatening allergic reaction. Always keep EpiPens handy in case of an emergency!

If a child or infant displays signs or symptoms of an Anaphylactic reaction, it's essential to seek medical attention immediately. The pre-anaphylactic stage is the most dangerous and can lead to death if not treated promptly. There are three stages of Anaphylaxis -Pre-Anaphylaxis, Anaphylactic Shock and Post-Anaphylaxis. Parents must know the signs and symptoms to take appropriate action when their child experiences them. These symptoms include:

  • Your child has trouble breathing;

  • Your child feels numbness or tingling sensation in your hands and feet;

  • Your child has a faster heartbeat (over 100 beats per minute);

  • Your child has dizziness, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoeal symptoms.

  • Your child shows shock signs lasting more than 10 minutes but may last up to several hours.

Shopping & Preparing Food

There are various ways to stay safe when shopping and eating out. One of the most important things you can do is be aware of the symptoms of an allergic reaction to protect yourself. Remember to carry an epinephrine injection kit with you at all times in an emergency. If you have food allergies, you must pay close attention to food labels- many hidden ingredients can contain allergens which could cause a severe reaction if ingested. Following these simple safety tips, everyone can enjoy a healthy life without significant hassle!

If you show any of the symptoms described here during a food reaction, it is essential to go to the hospital immediately: difficulty breathing, facial swelling, lips, tongue or throat; Symptoms start suddenly and can progress quickly without warning. In an emergency where your life may be at risk, don't hesitate to call 999!


When travelling, it is essential to avoid an allergic reaction. Make sure you know how to respond in an emergency, and always carry an epinephrine injection and other emergency medications with you. If your symptoms start escalating, remain calm and stay still until help arrives. Try not to struggle or escape, as this could worsen the situation. Drink fluids if possible and tell anyone who can hear you what is happening - including your doctor- so they will be aware of your plans for the destination country. Finally, remember that all allergies are just symptoms of a bigger problem- so if any severe allergy symptoms occur while travelling, be sure to get in touch with the local emergency department immediately!

Managing Allergies

Managing allergies can be a complex and challenging task. Be aware of all the things you know that you can have an allergic response to; for instance, for food allergies, always read the labels on the food items before buying them.

Here are some important tips: - If you experience any signs or symptoms of Anaphylaxis, seek medical help immediately. Anaphylactic reactions can be life-threatening and need immediate treatment. - Learn as much as possible about allergies and how to manage them. This step will help you avoid an episode of Anaphylaxis! Moreover, Respect your body and know when to seek professional help if allergy symptoms worsen or get too severe. Doing so will prevent an allergic reaction from turning into a harrowing ordeal. Wearing a medical ID bracelet that indicates you are an allergy sufferer will alert the first aider about the cause of your illness and what emergency treatment you will need. Finally, always carry Epinephrine with you in case of an emergency!

How to give first aid for Anaphylaxis?

Once you recognise that you or someone you know has a severe allergic reaction, you must call for help immediately. You may have to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR if the person is unresponsive. If all else fails, administer an EpiPen if they are carrying one. With swift action, you can help save a person's life. Remember, Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening emergency, so preparing for anything is essential. Stay safe and stay informed!

What do I need to do after an epinephrine injection?

If you have called 999, wait for the ambulance to arrive or get to a hospital immediately if you are well enough to travel.

Take care of yourself: Your priority is getting medical attention and treatment for Anaphylaxis. Then take care of yourself with these tips: Avoid further exposure to allergens if possible. If you take antihistamines, please follow your doctor's advice.

Wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace that indicates that you have an allergy.

Know the symptoms of Anaphylaxis and how to treat them.


Like most people, you've probably heard of Anaphylaxis but weren't sure what it is or what it entails. This blog has discussed Anaphylaxis, from its definition to the different symptoms and signs you may experience and how it can escalate into a life-threatening reaction. We will also provide tips on giving first aid in an anaphylactic reaction and advice on living with severe allergies.

To learn more about Anaphylaxis, please see our anaphylaxis course, as you must know all the risks associated with allergies.


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