Practically everyone is either sensitive or mildly allergic to insect stings. Most people experience redness, some swelling, and itching at the site of the sting as their body reacts to the toxins in the insect’s venom. While this typical reaction can be irritating, it isn’t life-threatening.
However, for approximately 5 percent of American men, women, and children, moderate to severe insect allergies are a real threat to their health and well-being.
For some people, serious allergic reactions are caused by fire ants, honeybees, hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets, resulting in symptoms that may include:
- Stomach cramps
The most severe allergic reactions to insect stings and bites include shortness of breath, a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and can even result death if emergency treatment is not immediately administered.
The good news is that there are ways to alleviate the threat posed by stinging insects and manage allergic reactions if they occur.
5 Precautions and Treatments for Sting Insect Allergies
- If you suspect you have an allergy to stinging insects, get tested by a board-certified allergist. That way, once you are diagnosed, you can work with your allergist on how to avoid being stung in the first place.
- If you are diagnosed with a moderate to severe allergy, your allergist can provide you with an emergency adrenaline kit that you should carry with you at all times, especially when outdoors in areas in which insect infestation is prevalent.
- You can also undergo immunotherapy (allergy shots). These shots expose you to minute quantities of insect venom, so your body can become desensitized to the allergen. Eventually, it may prevent an allergic response or at least minimize your reaction to an insect sting.
- You can also take steps on your own to avoid insect stings by wearing protective clothing (light-colored, long-sleeve shirts and pants, and socks and shoes) whenever heading outdoors, refraining from using perfume, using insect repellent when outdoors, and avoiding insect-prone environments.
- If you are diagnosed with a moderate to severe insect allergy, visit your allergist at least once a year for follow-up testing to monitor your condition.This is also an opportunity to update your treatment plan and ensure you are following the correct precautions to avoid and treat allergy reactions when necessary.
Stinging Insect Allergy Treatment in the Greater Chicago Area
At Oak Brook Allergists, we do more than just diagnose the source of your condition – we also do whatever it takes to alleviate your symptoms by offering numerous tests and treatments for allergies, asthma, and related conditions. Our team of board-certified allergy and immunology physicians are accompanied by a specially trained physician assistant, nurse practitioner, and registered nurses who work together seamlessly to accurately diagnose, appropriately treat, and effectively relieve your allergies.
It starts with a physical examination and health history assessment in one of our four conveniently located offices. If allergies are suspected, we can perform allergy testing on your very first visit. From there, we will work closely with you to design a personalized treatment plan to provide you with long-term relief. Treatment may include:
- Environmental control measures
- Allergy shots
- Oral immunotherapy
To learn more about our practice or to schedule your visit to Oak Brook Allergists to find out how we can help you, call us today at (630) 574-0460 or request an appointment now.