Stinging Insect Allergies

Summer is in full bloom and the insects are swarming all around for a sweet taste of everything.

Venom allergies from insects can be very dangerous. When someone with a venom allergy is stung by an insect they with have two or more of the following symptoms; itching or hives, swelling of throat or tongue, difficulty breathing, stomach cramps, nausea or diarrhea. In severe cases, there will be a rapid loss of blood pressure that may result in shock and loss of consciousness.

Some of the main culprits to look for this summer are yellow jackets, honeybees and bumble bees, paper wasps, hornets, and fire ants. It is a good idea to know what the nest of these insects look like and be able to easily identify them.

There are some ways to prevent being stung when heading outdoors. First and foremost is to stay away but treat the nest immediately. Avoid wearing bright colored clothes and perfumes outdoors. Avoid drinking sweet drinks, like cola, and eating outside. Also, it is best to wear closed toe shoes and avoid going bare foot when outside. Likewise, avoid wearing loose fitting clothing that would allow insects to be caught in between the clothing and your skin.

If you do get stung, there are some steps for treating the infected area. First, if the stinger of the insect is still in the skin, remove immediately. Also, remember to stay calm and leave the area. Next, elevate the infected limb and apply a cold pack to reduce swelling and pain. Clean the area with soap and water to avoid secondary infections. Apply a cream or take something to prevent itching. Then consult your allergist. If there is an extreme reaction, first call emergency services.

If you have any questions about insect venom allergies or any other allergies, please give us a call at 423.468.3267.