Stinging Insect Allergy: What You Need To Know

Whenever most people are stung by an insect, they usually experience redness and on-site swelling (which means swelling that is relegated to the area at which the person was stung). However, there are a few people who are not so lucky. Did you know that the stingers which many insects use are generally filled with venom? Some unlucky individuals are particularly susceptible to this type of venom and can experience symptoms that range from extreme discomfort, to swelling all over the body to an inability to breathe. Throughout the course of this article you will learn a few things that you need to know about stinging insect allergies. Read on!

How Common Are Stinging Insect Allergies?

Some sources state that anywhere from 5-10% of the population suffer from stinging insect allergies. It is difficult to tell how many people are really allergic to stinging insects, as many people are never stung, and some individuals are only stung once. It takes at least 2 stings for people to learn if they are allergic to stinging insects or not. This is due to the fact that, after you are stung, your body produces an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (or IgE). If you are allergic and stung again the Immunoglobulin E will interact with the stinging insect's venom causing an allergic reaction. It is then that people generally learn whether or not they are allergic to insects.

Determining If You Are Allergic To Insect Stings

Although it is generally after the second time that they have been stung that people learn whether or not they are allergic or not, for others it is not that easy. The presence of strong symptoms might not be that apparent in those who have been stung a second time. For example, you might feel just a bit warm after your second sting, in addition to the primary pains that one experiences after being a stung, or it could be the case you merely feel a bit nauseous or dizzy. If you are unsure whether or not you are allergic to stinging insects, it is recommended that you make a trip to your local immunologist or allergist, someone like Oak Brook Allergists, so he or she can run some blood work and determine whether or not you are allergic to these beasts.

What Does A Stinging Insect Allergic Reaction Look Like?

A serious allergic reaction occurs whenever the body's immune system becomes involved and overcompensates for the presence of venom in the body. This can cause a number of symptoms to take place in addition to the primary sense of pain, redness and localized swelling in the area of the body where the sting took place. These symptoms include, but are not limited to itchiness, hives that can cover the entirety of the body, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and most dangerously, a swelling of the face, tongue, and throat that can cause one to lose consciousness.

Treating A Stinging Insect Allergic Reaction

First and foremost, if you feel as if you are experiencing an allergic reaction to a stinging insect, especially if you feel any swelling of the face, tongue or throat, go to your local emergency room as soon as you possibly can. It is highly recommended that you inject epinepherine and call 911 as soon as possible, as driving a vehicle yourself may prove to be an impossibility. The best treatment, as in any matter, is prevention, however. As such, it is best to avoid any insects that you see with any bright colors or marking and to not wear loose clothing when doing yard work, as the material can cause the insect to get stuck between your skin and the cloth.

Stinging insect allergies, as you can see, are not always easy to identify, but with the help of this brief guide, hopefully you've learned what to look for.