Insect stings hurt no matter who you are, but a stinging insect allergy can make the event much more severe or even deadly. At Allergy Associates of Utah in Murray and West Jordan, Utah, allergy specialists Andrew Smith, MD, MS, and Tara Sarin, MD, can help you avoid or prepare for a sting from a hornet, wasp, bee, fire ant, or mosquito. To find out if you have an insect allergy to prepare yourself or receive treatment for a known allergy, call Allergy Associates of Utah, or book an appointment online today.
What are stinging insect allergies?
Stinging insect allergies happen when your immune system reacts strongly to bites or stings from certain insects. Insect stings that commonly cause stinging insect allergies include:
- Fire ants
Insects like these sting at their highest rates during the summer and fall months. These insects can sting anyone, but not everyone experiences an allergic reaction to their venom.
The first time you experience an insect sting with an allergy, your symptoms might be mild to moderate. Unfortunately, you have a 60% chance of experiencing a stronger reaction the second time you get stung. You should book an appointment at Allergy Associates of Utah if you get an insect sting and suspect that you’re allergic.
What are the symptoms of a stinging insect allergy?
Stinging insect allergies cause symptoms beyond the localized redness or inflammation of a non-allergic insect sting. The first time you notice your stinging insect allergy symptoms, they might affect other areas and include:
- Chest tightness
- Breathing problems
- Tongue swelling
- A hoarse voice
Severe stinging insect allergies can lead to a full-body reaction called anaphylaxis. Without immediate care, anaphylaxis can lead to cardiac arrest. Before that, it puts your body into shock. Your airway can swell, making it hard to breathe. It can also cause a drop in blood pressure and a weak, rapid heart rate.
How can I manage my stinging insect allergy?
At Allergy Associates of Utah, your provider helps you learn to manage your stinging insect allergy. They may prescribe you with an epinephrine auto-injector to carry with you all the time. They teach you to use it properly and encourage you to teach family and friends the same.
An epinephrine auto-injector can counteract the effects of anaphylaxis. However, you should still get medical care right away. It might include intravenous (IV) fluids like steroids and antihistamines.
To prevent or avoid an allergic reaction from an insect sting, Dr. Smith or Dr. Sarin might recommend:
- Using insect repellant
- Wearing muted colors instead of bright colors
- Maintaining good hygiene
- Avoiding strongly scented perfumes and products
- Covering the majority of your skin with clothing
If you’re unsure whether or not you have a stinging insect allergy, Dr. Smith or Dr. Sarin can perform allergy testing to diagnose or confirm the allergy.
If you suspect that you’re allergic to stings from fire ants, bees, wasps, or other insects, call Allergy Associates of Utah or book an appointment online today.