What are the upper respiratory tract symptoms of anaphylaxis?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: S Shahzad Mustafa, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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The upper respiratory tract commonly is involved, with complaints of nasal congestion, sneezing, or coryza. Cough, hoarseness, or a sensation of tightness in the throat may presage significant airway obstruction. Eyes may itch and tearing may be noted. Conjunctival injection may occur.

Dyspnea is present when patients have bronchospasm or upper airway edema. Hypoxia and hypotension may cause weakness, dizziness, or syncope. Chest pain may occur due to bronchospasm or myocardial ischemia (secondary to hypotension and hypoxia). GI symptoms of cramplike abdominal pain with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea also occur but are less common, except in the case of food allergy.

The Memphis study reported dyspnea in 59%, syncope or lightheadedness in 33%, and diarrhea or abdominal cramps in 29%. [29] Other studies have reported similar findings.

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