While most people can shrug off wasp stings and bee stings as an annoying disturbance, other people may develop life-threatening symptoms. You may need Duluth stinging insect allergy testing and venom immunotherapy if you have extensive swelling or difficulty breathing after an insect sting.
Symptoms associated with insect allergies
Stinging insect allergies occur when your immune system reacts aggressively to insects’ venom. Stinging insects that can result in an allergic reaction include fire ants, wasps, honey bees, hornets, and yellow jackets. Although fire ants are known for their biting, they can sting and inject venom into your system if threatened. The severity of an insect sting may vary from one individual to the next. Most insect sting reactions include redness, swelling, and pain confined to the sting site. You can apply ice and disinfect the area to reduce the discomfort.
People with stinging insect allergies may have a more aggressive reaction. For instance, one insect sting can cause the whole arm to swell and become unusually painful, requiring medical intervention. Because the effects of the allergy may last for about two days, your doctor may recommend corticosteroids and antihistamines to reduce discomfort. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include tightness in the chest and trouble breathing, hives and itching in areas far from the sting site, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and swelling of the throat. Some people may experience anaphylaxis after an insect sting, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms may include cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, and a sharp drop in blood pressure.
How to manage an insect sting allergy
The Allergy and Asthma Institute, LLC team treats stinging insect allergies in two steps, alleviating the emergency symptoms and preventive treatment with venom immunotherapy. The team may administer antihistamines, corticosteroids, or epinephrine if you have anaphylaxis. Once stable, your doctor may monitor you overnight to prevent another extreme reaction. Before your discharge, your physician may prescribe injectable epinephrine for self-administration after an allergic reaction. If you have severe reactions to insect stings, you may need to carry the epinephrine everywhere. Medical experts recommend bringing two doses of epinephrine at a go as one may not reverse all the effects. Afterward, remember to seek medical attention for safety.
One of the ways to prevent severe allergic reactions is to avoid insect stings. Stinging insects are often active during summer and spring. During these seasons, you may need to avoid picnics and walks in areas with trees and bushes. Insect repellants offer little to no protection, so avoiding these areas may be your best option. Although this preventative measure is effective, it denies you the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities. The Allergy and Asthma Institute, LLC recommends venom immunotherapy to prevent future life-threatening reactions to insect stings. The team administers doses of the venom to reduce your sensitivity to insects’ venom. You can go about your daily activities in a few months without worrying about stinging insect allergies.
Call the Allergy and Asthma Institute, LLC, or book an appointment online for venom immunotherapy if you struggle with stinging insect allergies.