Stress and allergies
Perhaps this is a factor contributing to severity of a reaction and/or the possibility of an inhalation reaction.
Stress From School Exams Cause Allergic Reactions
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have reported on the link between stress and asthma in some individuals. The results were presented at the Annual Meeting of the AAAAI.
Drs. Christopher Coe and William Busse set out to investigate the physiological basis for the stress effects of stress on the airway allergic response to inhaled antigen. Undergraduate students were tested during final exam week and at another less stressful time during the semester. All had positive skin tests to allergens such as ragweed, cat dander and dust mites, and had demonstrated an immediate fall in breathing and experienced eosinophilia, a leukocyte in white blood cells which increases during allergic reactions. Blood tests and antigen inhalation challenges were used to evaluate each student before and after exposure to the allergen.
Researchers found a significantly higher level of eosinophils and activated lymphocytes in the airways during exam week. These findings indicate that school related stress can act as a cofactor to promote airway eosinophilia to inhaled allergens, and such responses could cause asthma episodes.