“How do I know if I am allergic to something? Can I be just a bit allergic and have a minor reaction or does it have to be an outbreak of some sort?”
Many allergic reactions are mild, but you should remember that a mild allergic reaction can become a bad allergic reaction within minutes. People can be allergic to many things, including many foods such as eggs, nuts, chocolate as well as environmental allergies such as insect stings or bites, especially bee stings.
Signs of a mild allergic reaction are; a stuffy nose, sneezing and itching around the eyes, itching of the skin, and railed red rash on the skin (hives).
Signs of a bad allergic reaction include trouble breathing, swelling of the tongue and face, fainting.
Generally, if you suspect you are allergic to something, contact your healthcare provider for an examination and allergy testing. Allergic reactions range from very mild to life threatening depending on the person, allergy, location of the reaction, number of exposures etc. If your healthcare provider diagnosis includes a severe allergy he/she would produce a prescription for an epinephrine pen (Epi-Pen). Less severe allergic reactions can be treated effectively with an over-the-counter medication such as Benadryl.
If you suspect that you are having an allergic reaction, consult your healthcare provider immediately. If the reactions includes difficulty breathing, call 911 as this may be a truly life threatening allergic reaction.