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Insect Allergy

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD

Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialists located in Scottsdale, AZ & Gilbert, AZ

If you experience a serious reaction to an insect sting, you have a 70% chance of suffering a similar (or worse) reaction with a subsequent sting. An insect allergy can be quite severe and possibly even deadly. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself with help from the Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD, team. At their two locations in Scottsdale and another in Gilbert, Arizona, you’ll find all-encompassing insect allergy diagnosis, support, and treatment. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.

Insect Allergy Q & A

What is an insect allergy?

An insect allergy is an allergy to a stinging insect. The most common insect allergies are:

  • Wasps
  • Honey bees
  • Yellowjackets
  • Hornets
  • Fire ants

With an insect allergy, your immune system goes into hyperdrive in response to the insect’s venom. This response causes a variety of serious symptoms that can even be life-threatening, so it’s important to diagnose and treat your specific insect allergy.

What are the symptoms of an insect allergy?

It’s common to experience mild redness, warmth, discomfort, and swelling after an insect sting, but this reaction is entirely different from an insect allergy. An allergy causes far more serious symptoms. 

Around 5% of insect allergy sufferers have a very severe anaphylactic reaction. Signs of anaphylaxis include hives, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. You may also lose consciousness when having an anaphylactic reaction. 

If you have symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction, follow your allergist’s protocol for emergencies, which usually includes injecting epinephrine. Anaphylaxis is always urgent, so get to the nearest medical facility for emergency care immediately. 

How do you treat insect stings?

Treatment depends on whether you’re having a reaction or an allergy. 

Insect sting reactions

If you have a normal (mild) reaction to an insect sting but don’t have an insect sting allergy, you can generally treat the sting at home. Ice packs and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can reduce swelling and discomfort in this situation. 

Insect allergy

If you have an insect allergy or a suspected allergy, skin testing at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD, is usually the most effective way to diagnose the specific one. You may also need blood testing to isolate the cause. 

Treatment varies by individual and allergy severity. Many insect allergy sufferers benefit from insect venom immunotherapy – allergy shots that reduce your abnormally high venom sensitivity to a normal level. 

Your treatment may also include antihistamines. If you have a severe insect allergy, your allergist may prescribe injectable epinephrine that you keep with you in case of an emergency. 

You don’t need to fear an insect sting. The Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD, team offers effective customized solutions like insect venom immunotherapy, so call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.