Insect bites and stings can have wide-ranging repercussions, depending on the kind of insect and the first-aid response. However, there is a difference between a normal reaction and an allergic reaction to insect stings. It is important to understand the difference in the symptoms for both as people who are allergic to insect stings are prone to far more serious reactions. An allergist can help you understand if you have an insect sting allergy. As one of the leading insect sting reaction treatment centers in Novi MI, we at The Allergy Suite provide comprehensive treatment and medical care plans for various insect sting allergic reactions.
According to ACAAI, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions occur in 0.4% – 0.8% of children and roughly 3% of adults. Moreover, at least 90 – 100 deaths per year are caused by insect sting anaphylaxis. The most common insect sting allergies in the United States occur due to stings by fire ants, yellow jackets, paper wasps, honeybees and hornets.
There are three types of reactions of an insect sting:
- A normal reaction causes swelling, redness and pain confined to the sting site. The basic first aid treatment involves disinfecting the area and applying ice to reduce the swelling.
A large local reaction results in swelling that goes beyond the sting site. For example, a sting on the elbow may cause swelling of the entire arm. Although it might look alarming, it’s generally not more serious than a normal reaction and is treated the same way. However, an exceptionally painful or large local reaction might require medical attention.
- An allergic reaction is the most serious kind of reaction that can cause several problems. This condition requires prompt medical attention. The symptoms of a mild allergic reaction include the following:
- Itching and swelling
- Spots that look like acne
- Flushing of the skin
- Mild to moderate swelling
- Tingling or itching inside the mouth
- Tightness in the chest
On the other hand, a more severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis, can also occur in rare cases. This can be life-threatening and requires urgent medical attention. The symptoms can include:
- Trouble breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hives extending to areas beyond the sting site
- Hoarse voice
- Swelling of the face, throat, mouth or tongue
- Stomach cramps, intense vomiting nausea, or diarrhea
- Restlessness and anxiety
- Fast pulse rate
- Dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure
- Cardiac arrest
Management and Treatment
Firstly, there is the emergency treatment of an allergic insect sting reaction when it occurs. If you have a severe allergic reaction to a sting bite, you’ll need to inject yourself with epinephrine and immediately go to a hospital or call 911. Depending on the severity of your reaction, your treatment can range from administration of drugs such as antihistamines to intravenous fluids and other treatments.
Secondly, you need to undertake preventive treatment of your venom allergy. If you think you might have an insect venom allergy, you need to see an allergist. Your allergist may inquire about your medical history, your reaction to past stings and perform tests to diagnose your allergy. Based on the diagnosis, your allergist would prescribe a treatment plan that can include venom immunotherapy, allergy shots and other suitable measures that can prevent allergic insect sting reaction in the future.
If you’re looking for insect sting reaction treatments in Michigan, contact us at The Allergy Suite, in Novi. Our allergy specialists would be happy to help you.