Anaphylaxis is a severe inflammatory allergic reaction that can be life-threatening and which needs immediate emergency medical treatment. It is commonly caused by allergies to foods, drugs or stinging insects. Its symptoms include:
If anaphylaxis occurs, eye symptoms are often experienced as well. These include:
In some people, ingesting certain preservatives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) or sodium metabisulphite causes swelling and redness of the eye. However, ingesting these preservatives may not cause the severe bodily symptoms to the extent usually seen in anaphylaxis.
If you suspect someone is experiencing anaphylaxis you should call a doctor or ambulance immediately.
Last Reviewed: 03 January 2002