A stinging insect allergy can make life outdoors perilous and scary. It should not, however, stop you from enjoying nature whenever possible. With some careful planning and appropriate treatment, you will be able to enjoy the great outdoors with little fear. Here are three important things to understand about a stinging insect allergy.
How Does Stinging Insect Allergy Develop?
In general, a stinging insect allergy develops after the first sting. Your child may get an insect sting and have few symptoms, but the next time they are stung a more severe reaction could occur. This is due to how allergies develop. If the individual is prone to a stinging insect allergy, the first sting will cause the body to develop antibodies against the sting. The next time a sting occurs, the antibodies cause allergic symptoms as an overreaction to the venom. It is important to understand that sometimes people may not recall being stung before and it can seem like an allergic reaction occurs with the first sting.
The Importance and Limitations of the EpiPen
Having a stinging insect allergy may mean that you will need to carry an epinephrine autoinjector, such as the EpiPen. If you are required to carry an epinephrine autoinjector for your stinging insect allergy, it is the best immediate treatment. After using it, even if your symptoms begin to dissipate after the injection, you still need to visit the emergency room or call 911 immediately for monitoring and additional treatment. Epinephrine autoinjectors help protect you in the event of an accidental sting, but cannot prevent the allergic reaction from occurring.
How Can Venom Immunotherapy Help?
Venom immunotherapy is a treatment for severe stinging insect allergy. It changes how your immune system reacts to the venom in the sting that causes the allergic reaction. Venom immunotherapy can lessen the severity of reactions over time. Only an experienced allergist/immunology can administer venom immunotherapy.
Only an Allergist/Immunologist Can Diagnose and Treat
If you think that you or your child may have a stinging insect allergy, it is important to visit an allergist/immunologist for testing to confirm the diagnosis. The allergist/immunologist can also help you with a treatment plan and precautions to ensure you are safe in the great outdoors.
If you or your child may have a stinging insect allergy, contact us today for an appointment.