Insect Allergies

Insect allergies are allergic reactions by the body brought about by insects. Most insect allergies in humans are made by insect stings and bites. Through it, insects bring some of the chemicals or substances in the body that may cause an allergic reaction.

Causes of insect stings

Insect allergies are mostly caused by stings and bites from insects. Some are the result of the defense mechanism natural to insect when faced with a threat. And as a means of defense, these insects have certain chemicals that they bring out through stings and bites that may cause an allergic reaction.

Although most sting reactions do not actually result into severe allergies, the human body may react to such stings with some local pain, swelling and itching. Insect allergies may be brought about by a severe case of reaction by the body that may differ from person to person. Insects that are commonly associate with stings that cause allergic reactions in humans include, bees, wasps, hornets and ants.

Symptoms of insect stings

Whereas a normal reaction to an insect sting would be pain, swelling, redness and itchiness around the affected area, an allergic reaction may bring about a different result. A person allergic to an insect sting would go through the effects of anaphylaxis.

Symptoms would include itching and hives covering much of the body. There might also be some swelling felt in the throat or the tongue. The allergic reaction to the sting will also develop breathing and swallowing difficulties. Other symptoms include dizziness, severe headaches, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. It can become so severe that a person may experience a rapid fall in blood pressure as well as shock and loss of consciousness.

Treating and preventing insect stings

There are about two million Americans who are allergic to certain insect stings. The degree of insect allergy may vary from mild to severe. For those allergic to insect stings, it should be noted that the allergic reaction would be 60 percent likely to be similar or worsen than the previous insect sting. People allergic to insect stings should also bear in mind that the risk may increase sometime during the summer and the fall seasons. People with insect allergies should try to take more care in avoiding insects while outdoors during these times.

Insect allergies can worsen and lead to anaphylaxis in as short as two minutes. That is why prompt treatment for insect allergies is always required. Most allergic reactions to insect stings are treated with epinephrine. If a serious insect sting has just occurred, it may be necessary for the person with insect allergies to require medical attention as soon as possible.

Sometimes epinephrine may not be enough to treat the insect allergy and may worsen once the medication wears off. At times, intravenous fluid may also be needed along with the epinephrine treatment. Antihistamines may also be used for temporary allergy symptom relief in absence of epinephrine.