For most people, insect stings cause swelling and itching at the site of the sting. However, some people have insect allergies that cause anaphylaxis following a sting, a life-threatening allergic reaction. At Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Chad W. Mayer, DO, FAAAAI, FAAP, and Ronda Barak-Norris, MD, FACAAI, specialize in diagnosing and treating insect allergies. For comprehensive allergy care from the experts in the field, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Insect allergies are an immune system reaction to the venom in an insect sting. Everyone fears stinging insects because getting stung results in unpleasant symptoms.
However, for some people, insect stings are life-threatening. When you have insect allergies, your immune system overreacts to the insect venom from the sting, triggering a chemical reaction that causes anaphylaxis — a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Most people with insect allergies react to stings from yellow jackets, honey bees, wasps, hornets, or fire ants.
Insect allergy symptoms are serious, and may include:
These are anaphylactic symptoms and require a call to 911 or a trip to the nearest emergency room.
You can have a toxic reaction to an insect sting. Though the symptoms resemble insect allergies, toxic insect reactions usually occur if you get stung multiple times.
You can expect a patient-centered and comprehensive evaluation when you visit Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan for insect allergies. They spend time talking and getting to know you so they can fully understand your health issues and concerns.
Your provider reviews your symptoms following an insect sting. They also ask about your medical and family history and perform a physical exam. The allergists then do allergy testing to confirm or rule out insect allergies as the cause of your reaction.
Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan partners with you when developing a plan to manage insect allergies. First, they provide guidance on how to avoid stinging insects and what to do when they come near you.
They also recommend you carry two doses of auto-injectable epinephrine at all times if you have severe allergic reactions from insect stings. They teach you how to use the medication and what to do after you give yourself the injection.
Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan also provides immunotherapy for insect allergies. Immunotherapy includes a series of venom shots that desensitize your immune system to the allergen, reducing the severity of your allergic reaction.
Do you have or suspect you have insect allergies? Call Allergy & Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan or schedule a consultation online today to find out.
Dr. Rhonda Barak-Norris is an Allergist and Asthma specialist that treats patients for allergy testing, food allergies, drug allergies, skin testing, asthma and more. We are located in Farmington Hills, Mi. Call us to book your appointment today.