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Allergies occur when your body's defence system (immune system) overreacts to certain substances. The immune system treats a harmless substance as if it were a harmful germ or virus. Many things can make this happen. These include pollens, medicine, food, dust, animal dander, and mould.
Allergies can be mild or severe. Mild allergies can be managed with home treatment. But medicine may be needed to prevent problems.
Managing your allergies is an important part of staying healthy. Your doctor may suggest that you have allergy testing to help find out what is causing your allergies.
Severe allergies can cause reactions that affect your whole body (anaphylactic reactions). Your doctor may prescribe a shot of epinephrine to carry with you in case you have a severe reaction. Learn how to give yourself the shot and keep it with you at all times. Make sure it is not expired.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Give an epinephrine shot if:
After giving an epinephrine shot call 911, even if you feel better.
Call 911 if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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