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According to the Mayo Clinic, breathing difficulty is one the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction 1. Allergies range from environmental allergens, such as pollen, household allergens, such as dust mites, and food allergens, such as nuts. Each allergic reaction can produce different symptoms, but the person’s breathing will be affected. The most common breathing symptoms of an allergic reaction are nasal congestion, asthmatic symptoms, wheezing, coughing and the inability to breathe. A person who experiences these symptoms should consult her doctor.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is the most common cause of breathing difficulty due to nasal congestion 2. Allergic rhinitis can result in irritated eyes and a scratchy throat but primarily affects the nasal passages, according to Medline Plus 2. When a person with hay fever comes in contact with a particular allergen, such as pet dander, pollen or mold, his body releases certain chemicals that cause the sinus cavity to become inflamed and swollen. The swollen sinuses block airways, preventing the person from breathing normally through his nose. Nasal congestion from allergies is commonly treated with a combination of decongestants and antihistamines, according to the Mayo Clinic 1.
Allergy Cough Symptoms
According to the American Medical Network, allergy-induced asthma can cause significant breathing trouble 3. When a person with allergy-induced asthma encounters an allergen, her airways restrict and overproduce mucus, causing restriction in her ability to breathe normally. If a person experiences these symptoms and has not consulted a medical doctor, she should schedule an appointment. In extreme cases, asthma can be life-threatening.
- According to the American Medical Network, allergy-induced asthma can cause significant breathing trouble 3.
- When a person with allergy-induced asthma encounters an allergen, her airways restrict and overproduce mucus, causing restriction in her ability to breathe normally.
Anaphylaxis is an overreaction of the immune system, in which the system panics and begins to shut various parts of the body down, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). Anaphylactic shock is a rare allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. It is usually connected to food allergies and certain insect stings and bites. A person experiencing anaphylactic shock will become faint, his lips will swell, he won’t be able to breathe normally, and he may vomit. He should get immediate medical attention to avoid serious damage. Once a person experiences anaphylactic shock, he needs to remain under a doctor's care for assessment and prevention.
- Anaphylaxis is an overreaction of the immune system, in which the system panics and begins to shut various parts of the body down, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN).
- Once a person experiences anaphylactic shock, he needs to remain under a doctor's care for assessment and prevention.
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- Mayo Clinic: Allergies
- Medline Plus: Allergic Rhinitis
- American Medical Network: Types of Allergies
- Ring J, Beyer K, Biedermann T, et al. Guideline for acute therapy and management of anaphylaxis. Allergo J Int. 2014;23(3):96–112. doi:10.1007/s40629-014-0009-1
- Bantz SK, Zhu Z, Zheng T. The Atopic March: Progression from Atopic Dermatitis to Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma. J Clin Cell Immunol. 2014;5(2):202. doi:10.4172/2155-9899.1000202
- American Academy of Dermatology. Can you get eczema as an adult?
- Lyons JJ, Milner JD, Stone KD. Atopic dermatitis in children: clinical features, pathophysiology, and treatment. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2015;35(1):161–183. doi:10.1016/j.iac.2014.09.008
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. Atopic Dermatitis. Updated July 16, 2019.
- Galli SJ, Tsai M, Piliponsky AM. The development of allergic inflammation. Nature. 2008;454(7203):445–454. doi:10.1038/nature07204
- Woo CK, Bahna SL. Not all shellfish "allergy" is allergy! Clin Transl Allergy. 2011;1(1):3. doi:10.1186/2045-7022-1-3
- McCrory DC, Williams JW, Dolor RJ, et al. Management of Allergic Rhinitis in the Working-Age Population: Summary. In: AHRQ Evidence Report Summaries. 2003.
- Gryglas A. Allergic Rhinitis and Chronic Daily Headaches: Is There a Link? Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2016;16(4):33. doi:10.1007/s11910-016-0631-z
- Cleveland Clinic. Contact Dermatitis. Updated January 5, 2015.
- Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School. Anaphylaxis: An overwhelming allergic reaction. 2009.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma in the US. Updated May 3, 2011.
- van Aalderen WM. Childhood asthma: diagnosis and treatment. Scientifica (Cairo). 2012;2012:674204. doi:10.6064/2012/674204
- Stevens WW, Schleimer RP, Kern RC. Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2016;4(4):565–572. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2016.04.012
- When to See an Allergist. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
- Allergy Symptoms. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
- Allergic Rhinitis Complications. National Health Service.
Emily DeSerio has been a freelance writer since November 2009. DeSerio works in the mental health field as a clinical social worker. She began her higher level education at the University of South Florida (USF) with a B.A. in English and went on to complete a Master of Social Work degree at USF as well.