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27655 Middlebelt Rd, Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
(248) 363-3232
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Insect Allergies

Insect Allergies

Overview

Most people develop redness, swelling and itching after being stung. However, some people are actually allergic to insect stings. This means that their immune systems overreact to the venom. Life-threatening allergic reactions occur in 0.4% – 0.8% of children and 3% of adults. At least 90 – 100 deaths per year result from insect sting anaphylaxis.

Preventing Stings

Stay away! These insects are most likely to sting if their homes are disturbed, so it is important to have nests around your home destroyed.

If flying stinging insects are close by, remain calm and move slowly away. Avoid brightly colored clothing and perfume when outdoors (do not look like or smell like a flower.) Because the smell of food attracts insects, be careful outdoors when cooking, eating or drinking sweet drinks like soda or juice. Only drink from a container that has a lid. Beware of insects inside straws or canned drinks. Keep food covered.

If you are severely insect-allergic, carry two doses of auto-injectable epinephrine at all times. Remember that epinephrine is a rescue medication only, and you must still have someone take you to an emergency room immediately if you are stung.

Venom allergy immunotherapy

Venom allergy shots are highly effective. The treatment provides up to 98% protection against life-threatening reactions. Treatment is easy to receive and within a couple of months the shots will be spaced out to one a month.

NOTE:

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and may be fatal. If you have these symptoms after an insect sting, get emergency medical treatment

Symptoms of a Severe Reaction

This reaction is called anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis).

Symptoms may include two or more of the following:

  • itching and hives
  • swelling in the throat or tongue
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness
  • stomach cramps
  • nausea or diarrhea
  • rapid fall in blood pressure may result in shock and loss of consciousness.