Make an Appointment

Ask a Question
Refer a Patient

1.877.CALL NJH
(877.225.5654)

Daily Pollen Count

Feeling sneezy or itchy? Check our daily pollen count to learn
what's in the air.

  • Reviewed on 7/12
    By Dr. Alam


    • Rafeul Alam, MD

      Rafeul Alam, MD, PhD  
      Dept. of Medicine
      Chief, Division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology


      View full profile

Anaphylaxis: Overview


Anaphylaxis is a systemic (whole body), life-threatening allergic reaction, and is the most severe type of allergic reaction. Fortunately, it is very rare and many people with allergies will not experience anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis can be caused by allergies to many environmental agents. The common ones are:

In addition to allergens, physical exertion can cause anaphylaxis. This is known as exercise-induced anaphylaxis. Some forms of anaphylaxis are called idiopathic (unknown cause). Doctors diagnose this condition when they rule out the contribution from environmental factors.

 

Symptoms

Symptoms of anaphylaxis often appear quickly. They often appear within minutes of exposure to an allergen (a substance which causes an allergic reaction). In a few cases, reactions have been delayed as much as 12 to 24 hours. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Breathing difficulties, coughing, chest tightness or wheezing

  • Dizziness, fainting, rapid or weak heartbeat

  • Swelling in the mouth and throat or trouble swallowing

  • Flushing, itching, hives or a feeling of warmth

  • Vomiting, diarrhea or stomach cramping along with some of the symptoms mentioned above


 

Bookmark and Share

Allergy Treatment Programs

At National Jewish Health, some of the nation's best doctors work with patients to help alleviate and manage allergy symptoms.

Learn more.

Sign Up for e-Newsletters

Enter your email address to receive health tips, recent research findings and news about National Jewish Health.