How to Know If You Need An EpiPen
A lot of people have allergies, even if they are just seasonal allergies to pollen that can cause itchy eyes and a runny nose. But even people who have more serious allergies usually don’t have to deal with anything more than some itchy hives and watery eyes. Allergies are an inconvenience, and they can make people uncomfortable.
However, some people do have serious reactions to allergens. Some people can eat a peanut or a piece of shrimp and find themselves unable to breathe. Without help, they can suffer serious health consequences or even die. Some people have such a strong, negative reaction to an allergen that they don’t even have time to get to the doctor or the hospital. That’s where an EpiPen can be helpful.
What is an EpiPen?
An EpiPen is a pen-like device that delivers the drug epinephrine. The drug counteracts anaphylaxis, which causes a narrowing of the airway and makes it difficult or impossible for people to breathe. Epinephrine helps to relax the muscles, which can help the lungs and airways to open up. The drug also decreases swelling throughout the body and puts a stop to the allergic response.
An EpiPen is designed to make it easy to deliver the drug quickly if an allergic reaction is taking place. The pen is pre-loaded, and you only have to push the pen against your skin to push out the needle and deliver the drug. The EpiPen is easy to use, and it delivers relief quickly in a life-threatening situation.
Who Needs an EpiPen?
Unfortunately, you may not know that you have a serious allergy until you suffer a serious reaction. However, if you suspect that you might have an allergy because of previous minor reactions or because of family history, you should see an allergy doctor in Mesa to be tested.
If you have an allergy, your doctor may recommend that you carry an EpiPen just in case you ever have a more serious reaction. Your doctor will make the necessary recommendation based on your history and your overall health.
When Do You Not Need an EpiPen?
Not every allergic reaction calls for an injection of epinephrine – in fact, most of them do not. Common allergic reactions include runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, red eyes, a scratchy throat or cough, and even hives. Sometimes, these reactions resolve on their own. Sometimes, taking an over-the-counter allergy medication like Benadryl can stop the reaction or resolve the symptoms.
You do not need an EpiPen for these minor reactions. Talk to your Mesa allergy doctor to learn whether you need to have an EpiPen on hand in case of symptoms getting worse. Your doctor will also counsel you on when you should use the EpiPen and how to use it.
How Do You Get an EpiPen?
You can’t just go to a pharmacy and ask for an EpiPen. You need to have a prescription for one, and you should fill that prescription long before you have an allergic reaction serious enough to use the EpiPen. You should have the pen available for when you have an allergic reaction.
To get the prescription, you will need to visit an allergy doctor in Chandler for thorough testing and evaluation. Your doctor will assess the severity of your allergy and your potential risk and write the prescription if it is necessary. Your doctor will also talk to you about other measures to take to get help.
Allergies are common, and in many cases, they are just a nuisance, not a true threat. However, it is important that you never make assumptions. You don’t want to find yourself in the position of having a severe allergic reaction and not having the tools you need, such as an EpiPen. You need to see a Chandler allergy doctor for thorough testing and evaluation to determine your true risk and to get the tools you need.
Call San Tan Allergy & Asthma to schedule a consultation and allergy testing. We perform all types of allergy testing, as well as testing and treatment for eczema, autoimmune conditions, and more. We serve patients throughout the Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Scottsdale, and Phoenix areas. Call us today to schedule a consultation with an allergy doctor.