Arm numbness can be a less common symptom of an allergy shot and others like light swelling, inflammation, and pain. However, in some instances, you can be exposed to riskier and rarer side effects like hives and anaphylactic shock. In these situations, you’ll need immediate treatment through an epinephrine injection. Arm numbness, if not connected with an allergy shot, can rarely be a symptom of pre-existing conditions like peripheral neuropathy.
You can also try out home remedies like painkillers and cold compress to ease the pain and swelling in your arm. But it’s always safer to communicate with your doctor regarding medications even before getting the shot as some may interfere with the effectiveness of your allergy shot.
So you’ve got an allergy shot. But unlike last time, or maybe for the first time, you’re experiencing a strange numbness in your arm.
Allergy shots are a type of treatment categorized under immunotherapy which involves regular doses of injections over an extended period like 5 years. This is done purely to either prevent or minimize allergy attacks that you may have, like asthma attacks.
Although it involves exposing your body to the substances that you’re allergic to, it’s done so cautiously just to stimulate your immune system and carefully avoid a full-blown allergic reaction.
Is arm numbness a common symptom of an allergy shot? What other side effects can you expect after your shot? What is an anaphylactic shock, and how do you handle it? Can your arm numbness be hinting at an underlying condition?
How can you relieve your side effects after an allergy shot? Are there other important things to remember before getting the shot?
Is arm numbness a symptom of an allergy shot?
Usually, the symptom that the majority experiences after taking an allergy shot are the slight swelling or redness in the injected arm area.
Maybe the soreness that comes after an injection is associated with a certain numbness by you.
If so, the numbness can be a completely normal side-effect that fades away by itself in a few days. You wouldn’t have anything to worry about unless the numbness starts to spread or persists over a few weeks.
You can also consult your local doctor if you experience an unusual discomfort along with soreness.
What other symptoms can you expect?
The symptoms may vary from person to person since some people don’t experience any symptoms at all, while others may.
It’s best to understand the common symptoms, other possible symptoms, and rare side-effects through a table.
|Common symptoms||Less common symptoms (involves mild allergic reactions)||Rare side-effects (Involves severe allergic reactions)|
|Swelling into a bump||Itchy skin and rashes||Hives|
|Redness in the area||Eye-watering||Anaphylaxis|
|Soreness and a certain numbness||Nasal congestion and sneezing||Excessive swelling that doesn’t go away|
If you do end up going into anaphylactic shock, it would include serious symptoms like breathing difficulties and dizziness.
Most of such rare side-effects can turn up within 30 minutes of taking your allergy shots, which is exactly why doctors ask you to stay behind for half an hour after a shot to make sure you don’t have a severe allergic reaction to it.
So don’t rush off because you’ve got better things to do.
What to expect when in anaphylactic shock
Anaphylaxis can be quite a potentially life-threatening systemic allergic reaction.
A 2018 study by the US National Library of Medicine shows that the possibility of an anaphylactic shock is roughly estimated to be as high as 2% and seems to be increasing over time.
An anaphylactic shock can have a wide variety of symptoms, such as throat and facial swelling, dizziness, blue skin, an abnormal heart rate, low blood pressure, mental confusion, chest tightness, nausea, and wheezing.
You must receive immediate medical treatment when in shock after an allergy shot. You’ll need to use the epinephrine injection, more famously known as adrenaline, and inject yourself to reverse the allergy reaction.
If untreated, anaphylaxis can lead to more serious complications in your body like brain damage, heart attacks, cardiogenic shocks, kidney failure, and even death, which is why you need to take extra precautions to stay those extra 30 minutes after getting an allergy shot just in case. It might just save your life.
Can your arm numbness be hinting at an underlying condition?
While arm numbness is one of the lesser common symptoms of an allergy shot, if it doesn’t seem to go down after a few days or if it existed from even before the allergy shot was taken, then there’s a possibility that it could be hinting at a pre-existing ailment in your body.
- Peripheral Neuropathy – This involves a complication with your nerves that exist outside of your spinal cord and it includes numbness and a burning inflammation especially at night.
- Anxiety – Apart from numbness, you may experience headaches and difficulties in concentrating.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – This is caused by an irritation in your wrist’s median nerve which may, in turn, cause a certain numbness in your wrist area.
But you should note that the possibilities for the above are very low, and you needn’t be worried if your numbness has something to do with after taking your allergy shot and if it goes down in about a week.
How to relieve arm numbness and pain after an allergy shot?
You can easily remedy the temporary pain that comes with injecting an allergy shot in your arm through home remedies or even over-the-counter medication. The below list should also help.
- Cold pack treatment – Cold or ice packs are known for their pain-relieving nature. Using a cold compress will decrease the inflammation of the injected area and help to either numb the pain or gradually recover from the soreness.
- Epsom Salt baths – It’s a known fact that such salt baths act as a natural pain reliever. A 2005 study reveals that such magnesium salts also help in reducing inflammation and soreness in your body as well.
- Pain reliever medication – Your typical pain reliever OTC medication will work if you’re more sensitive to the pain, soreness, and swelling involved with allergy shots. However, it’s safer to consult with your doctor beforehand, rather than popping different pills without medical guidance.
Sadly, home remedies can only do so much for you, and in certain instances, you may need to call up your health care provider if, apart from numbness and pain, you’re experiencing the following symptoms as well.
- Fever that has reached up to 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Severe pain at the place of injection
- Symptoms that get from bad to worse.
How can you prepare for an allergy shot?
Before you go for your allergy shot appointment, it’s usually recommended that you not take part in any strenuous activity and avoid any form of workout for your body.
The reason for this is because when you exercise your body, it causes a rapid boost of blood flow into your tissues, which can make the allergens, once injected, spread within your body much faster.
However, a 2005 study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine showed that no patients had an adverse reaction following physical exercise before an allergy shot. So you can be sure that there isn’t a significant risk involved with it.
If you’re going through a pregnancy or are planning on getting pregnant, it’s essential to let your doctor know of this to make sure you’re safe to go.
You should also notify of any other medications or supplements you’re on since some can interfere with your allergy shot treatment or even exaggerate your side effects.
What happens if an allergy shot is given to the muscle?
If the shot is incorrectly given, the injected area in your arm will possibly start bruising up and turn red and painful. This could even last for about a week and can be treated through a cold compress and pain killers.
How long does it take for allergy shots to work?
The most common duration of time for shots to start working is in about 5 to six months after administering it.
But on some occasions, it could take even up to a year. If you don’t notice any improvement in your allergies within about 2 years, you’ll need to raise your concern to a doctor.
Can you have a delayed reaction to allergy shots?
You most certainly can as some patients develop swelling, bruising even after 3 days post-injection. If you want to steer clear of delayed reactions, you can take a long-acting antihistamine before getting your allergy shot.
Despite the possible side effects, symptoms, and risks involving allergy shots, it’s a highly recommended immunotherapy to decrease symptoms of many allergies and prevent the development of more new allergies.
So, getting an allergy shot can make all the difference needed for a healthier life. Your safety can also be ensured by sticking around the hospital for about half an hour or so just to be sure you won’t have a severe reaction to your shot. After that, you’ll be good to go.