An allergic reaction may cause a number of symptoms, including facial swelling that may localize to the right or left side or may occur on both sides. If you have a known allergy to certain foods, you can take precautions to avoid those items and prevent complications. However, if you're not sure but suspect that you have an allergy, based on facial swelling, knowing common food allergens, as well as other possible causes for your symptoms, will help you have an informed discussion about your condition with your doctor.
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You can have an allergic reaction to any food, but certain foods have a greater likelihood of triggering a reaction. These allergens include nuts such as peanuts and walnuts, shellfish and eggs. Other common foods that may cause a reaction include wheat products, dairy and soy.
In the case of a severe reaction, if you don't know the food you ate that triggered your symptoms, your doctor may recommend that you keep a food journal and note what you eat daily to determine the food that caused the reaction. So, if you have further symptoms, you will have to note this, as well. This data will give your doctor valuable information to narrow down your allergen source. You may also need to have blood work or a skin test done to determine the exact offending foods.
If you have mild facial swelling on the left or right side of the face that does not accompany any other symptoms, your doctor may recommend an oral antihistamine to help bring down the inflammation. Also, try holding a cool, damp cloth against your skin to help relieve the swelling.
Symptoms that include swelling of the tissues in your throat could block your airway and cause you to have difficulty breathing. This requires immediate medical attention. The doctor will give you an injection of epinephrine to counteract your immune system reaction, and this should open your airway quickly.
In cases where you have a known, severe allergy to a food, bee sting or other allergen, your doctor may prescribe a kit that contains an epinephrine injection. You should carry this with you at all times, so if you have a reaction, you can inject the medication.
Keep in mind that the swelling on your face may occur for reasons other than an allergic reaction to food. If you have an abscess or other problem with a tooth on the left side of your mouth, this may result in facial swelling on the left side. As well, any injury to the left side of your face could cause swelling.
Other possible causes of inflammation in your facial tissues include an infection in the tissues, also known as cellulitis, or a reaction to a medication.
If you have a food allergy, read labels carefully to avoid consuming products that may contain triggers. Your doctor can help you determine a diet that will provide you with the nutrients you need while also preventing further reactions.