Most of us develop redness and swelling at the site of an insect bite. Yet people who are allergic to stinging insect venom are at risk for a much more serious reaction. This life-threatening reaction is called anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis). Understanding differences in symptoms between a normal reaction and an allergic reaction can bring peace of mind. It is also important to have an accurate diagnosis so you can manage your condition viagra prix usine and be prepared for an emergency. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to an allergen. In stinging insect allergy, the allergen is venom from a sting.
Most serious reactions are caused by five types of insects:
- Yellow jackets are black with yellow markings, found in various climates. Their nests are usually located underground, but sometimes found in the walls of buildings, cracks in masonry or in woodpiles.
- Honeybees have round, fuzzy bodies with dark brown and yellow markings. They can be found in honeycombs in trees, old tires or other partially protected sites.
- Paper wasps are slender with black, brown, red and yellow markings. They live in a circular comb under eaves, behind shutters or in shrubs and woodpiles.
- Hornets are black or brown with white, orange or yellow markings. Their nests are gray or brown and are usually found in trees.
- Fire ants are reddish-brown ants living in large mounds, mostly in warmer climates. They attack with little warning, inserting highly concentrated toxins that cause burning and pain.
Stinging Insect Allergy Symptoms & Diagnosis
Most people develop pain, redness and swelling at the site of an insect sting. This is a normal reaction that takes place in the area of the bite. A serious allergic reaction occurs when the immune system gets involved and overreacts to the venom, causing symptoms in more than one part of the body such as:
- Swelling of the face, throat or tongue
- Difficulty breathing
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea or diarrhea
- Itchiness and hives over large areas of the body
This severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Insect stings can cause serious symptoms that are not allergic. A toxic reaction occurs when the insect venom acts like a poison in the body. A toxic reaction can cause symptoms similar to those of an allergic reaction, including nausea, fever, swelling at the site of the sting, fainting, seizures, shock and even death. A toxic reaction can happen after only one sting, but it usually takes many stings from insects. Serum sickness is an unusual reaction to a foreign substance in the body that can cause symptoms hours or days after the sting. Symptoms include fever, joint pain, other flu-like symptoms and sometimes hives.
Almost 62% of U.S. households have pets, and more than 161 million of these pets are cats and dogs.* Unfortunately, millions of pet owners have an allergy (allergic rhinitis) to their animals. The proteins found in a pet's dander, skin flakes, saliva and urine can cause an allergic reaction or aggravate asthma symptoms in some people. Also, pet hair or fur can collect pollen, mold spores and other outdoor allergens. An allergen is a normally harmless substance that triggers the immune system to overreact in people with allergies. This response can cause allergy symptoms such as sniffling, sneezing and itchiness and watery eyes. Contrary to popular opinion, there are no truly “hypoallergenic breeds” of dogs or cats. Allergic dander in cats and dogs is not affected by length of hair or fur, nor by the amount of shedding.
Pet Allergy Symptoms & Diagnosis
Pet allergy symptoms appear during or shortly after exposure to the animal. These symptoms may linger long after the animal is gone. This is because the dander remains in the air, on furniture or on your clothing. If you experience the following symptoms after being near a dog or cat, you may have an allergy:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
Additionally, contact with a pet may trigger skin allergy symptoms including itchy skin or raised, red patches (hives). Pets can also trigger asthma symptoms, causing wheezing, difficulty breathing or chest tightness. Giving up a pet in order to prevent allergy symptoms isn’t always necessary. An allergist / immunologist has specialized training and experience to accurately diagnose your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to help you or your child manage allergy symptoms and potentially keep your furry friends.