Sometimes an allergic reaction can develop so fast and strong that will actually threaten a person’s life. We are talking about phenomena such as angioedema. This is a reaction of human body to the impact of various biochemical and chemical factors, often non-allergic in nature. Manifested by increase of the face or its parts. The disease was first described in 1882 by the German physician Heinrich Quincke. Hence the name.
Symptoms and nature of angioedema
Angioedema leads to behaviours such as swelling of the skin or mucous membranes. Mainly found in adults, but this does not mean that children cannot comprehend such trouble. This type of reaction to the allergen is instantaneous, and therefore very dangerous. 80% of the investigated cases of angioedema develops because of allergies to certain medicines. It can cause antibiotics, vitamins, especially group b, aspirin, iodinated drugs. Also to swelling angioedema may cause food allergies, and food additives. It happens that this kind of allergic reaction triggers the bite of an insect (e.g., mite, bees). All reactions are individual, and predict, alas, almost impossible.
Symptoms of angioedema include the following:
- sudden onset allergic reaction (within several minutes);
- the limited character of the swelling;
- the color of the mucosa and the skin at the site of swelling remains unchanged;
- the absence of pain at the site of swelling;
- most often the swelling occurs in the lower lip area, tongue, eyelids, larynx, cheeks.
The most dangerous is the swelling of the tongue and larynx, because they interfere with breathing and can be a real threat to human life. Sometimes angioedema can capture the meninges, which causes neurological disorders (e.g. epilepsy).
Usually angioedema is a few hours, sometimes few days. And we cannot rule out the possibility of anaphylactic shock, on the background of angioedema.
First aid for angioedema
Because the risk of angioedema is almost impossible to predict, rules of first aid when it should know. Here are some of them:
- Should immediately call an ambulance, even in the case where the patient’s condition is quite satisfactory.
- It is necessary to exclude contact of the patient with the allergen to stop to take medication, to eat, remove the insect or stinger, and the like.
- Should try to calm the patient.
- You need to provide access to the premises where the patient is fresh air.
- Is to facilitate the breathing of the person in all possible ways: for example, to remove or unfasten clothing.
- In case of appearance of edema need to put a chilled compress.
- The patient must give plenty to drink as quickly as possible to bring the allergen from the body.
- You should give the patient a sorbent, e.g. activated carbon.
- If you have at hand antihistamne the preparation you need to give it.
- In a nose drip vasoconstrictor drops, which facilitates breathing.
And the main thing – to wait for qualified medical help. If the ambulance was going too slow, should take patient to the hospital by car or taxi. Every minute counts, don’t risk it. You should also carefully observe the dynamics of the patient: it can both improve and worsen its change is unpredictable. That is why medical help is required.
Angioedema is a life-threatening allergic reaction of human body to a certain stimulus. Since most cases of angioedema associated with uncontrolled use of drugs, should be more responsible and measured way to treat this issue.