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Sudden onset of allergy symptoms



My mother is 54 years old and has had a sudden onset of Allergy symptoms. It began with swelling of the tongue, and face. Recently her eyes begin to swell and is now breaking out in hives. She is having reactions 2-3 times a week and is treating it with over the counter antihistamines. She has had allergy testing which has not found any significant allergies to food and/or environmental allergens. Her treating physician is unable to provide her with a diagnosis.


Most likely she has a condition known as idiopathic chronic urticaria/angioedema. There are reasonably good treatment regimens for this condition. She needs to be referred to a physician who has experience in managing this problem. Many, but not all, allergists should be able to help.

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Response by:

I Leonard Bernstein, MD I Leonard Bernstein, MD
Clinical Professor Emeritus
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati