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Allergies

Sudden acute allergic reaction

01/27/2009

Question:

Have been asthmatic for many years, symptoms controlled with inhalers. Last night required emergency treatment for tongue/throat swelling, itching and shortness of breath. Have not changed anything different in home, eaten same foods. This is the first time an event has happened like this, apart from x3 drug allergies.

Answer:

Potential causes for these type of acute reactions include medications (prescription and over the counter such as aspirin or non-steroidals), foods and underlying medical conditions such as infections, thyroid disease, autoimmune disorders...If an underlying cause can't be found we call it "idiopathic" or of unknown cause.  I would see a qualified allergist/immunologist for further evaluation who can exclude underlying causes and recommend treatment if necessary to prevent future episodes from occurring.

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Response by:

Jonathan   Bernstein, MD Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati