Amanda Barrie, 83, “blew up like a balloon” one night as part of an allergic response to a condition known as anaphylaxis. Her throat became swollen and she struggled to breathe until medics gave her powerful antihistamines to counteract the extreme reaction. In an interview with Daily Express last year, Amanda divulged: “It was really terrifying”. But what is most frightening about the actress’ ordeal is she didn’t know what triggered her anaphylaxis.
It was really terrifying
Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an allergy, states the NHS
It usually develops suddenly and gets worse very quickly.
The health body lists the following symptoms associated with the condition:
- Feeling lightheaded or faint
- Breathing difficulties – such as fast, shallow breathing
- A fast heartbeat
- Clammy skin
- Confusion and anxiety
- Collapsing or losing consciousness
Other allergy symptoms that may arise include an itchy, raised rash, feeling or being sick, swelling or stomach pain.
Amanda has had a couple of extreme allergic reactions since the ordeal, which occurred September 1998 – the night of Diana, Princess of Wales’ funeral.
Amanda Barrie health: The star opened up about her mystery allergy last year (Image: GETTY)
But none have been as serious as the first episode.
She now carries an Epipen with her at all times in case of emergency.
If someone has symptoms of anaphylaxis, the NHS says you should:
- Use an adrenaline auto-injector if the person has one – but make sure you know how to use it correctly first
- Call 999 for an ambulance immediately (even if they start to feel better) – mention that you think the person has anaphylaxis
- Remove any trigger if possible – for example, carefully remove any wasp or bee sting stuck in the skin
- Lie the person down flat – unless they’re unconscious, pregnant or having breathing difficulties
- Give another injection after 5-15 minutes if the symptoms don’t improve and a second auto-injector is available
- If you have an anaphylactic reaction, you can follow these steps yourself if you feel able to.
Amanda Barrie health: The star’s throat became swollen and she struggled to breathe (Image: GETTY)
Amanda Barrie health: The star now carries round an Epipen in case of emergencies (Image: GETTY)
As Amanda’s got older this isn’t the only health problem she’s endured.
The star has also experienced trouble with her hearing, and revealed she’d been fitted with hearing aids.
During her time in the Celebrity Big Brother house in January last year, Amanda wasn’t wearing them and had difficulty hearing the announcements.
She said: “I don’t wear them all the time and I just didn’t think of taking them into the Big Brother house. Then I suddenly realised I could not hear the announcements when I was out in the garden.
“It was a real problem in some of the tasks as I could have got the whole house punished because I couldn’t hear something.”