Insect Allergy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & Natural Remedies
With a rise in temperature, the variety of bugs and insects inhabiting a place also increases. These unwanted visitors can promote various allergic reactions even without a bite or sting. Most people are not allergic to insects.
However, for those who suffer from any insect allergies, these organisms can trigger various common and life-threatening symptoms. One should know the difference between a normal and allergic reaction and do accordingly based on the condition.
What Is an Insect Allergy?
Allergic reactions triggered by the venom of an insect when it bites or stings are referred to as insect allergies. These hypersensitive responses do not occur right after the first encounter but probably after a few bites and stings. It occurs when the immune system overreacts to the venom allergen from the bug’s sting.
Who Is At Risk of Insect Allergies?
People who are at risk to acquire insect allergy include those –
- With a family history of allergies
- Already suffering from other allergies
- Exposed to insects by profession or hobby
- Nurturing insects with pets
What Are the Types of Insect Allergy?
There are three types of insect allergies –
- Allergy from insect bite – Caused by biting insects like mosquitoes, kissing bugs, bedbugs, etc.
- Allergy from insect sting – Caused by stinging bugs like bees, wasps, hornets, etc.
- Allergy from household pests – Caused by regular household insects like cockroaches and dust mites.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Insect Allergy?
The signs and symptoms of insect allergy include –
- Itching, rashes and other skin allergies caused by an insect bite.
- Redness of eyes, swelling of lips, tongue, face, throat, and eyelids
- Coughing, wheezing and breathing difficulties.
- Dizziness and light-headedness.
- A runny nose with frequent sneezes.
What Are the Causes of Insect Allergy?
Not every insect bites or stings, yet you can be allergic to certain insects without ever knowing.
Common sting insects that lead to allergies are –
- Honey Bees
- Yellow jackets
- Fire ants
Common household insects that don’t bite or sting but lead to allergies are –
- Lake flies
- Caddis flies
How to Diagnose Insect Allergy?
Let the physician know about your symptoms and health history. If he suspects an allergy, he will prescribe some tests that include-
- Skin prick test – An allergen test where a bit of allergen is placed on the skin and reaction is watched to get the hang of its severity.
- Blood test – To know how the body reacts to the allergen.
What Are the Treatments for Insect Allergy?
You need not worry about how to treat an insect allergy. Primarily you need to know whether you have a normal or abnormal reaction to an insect sting or bite. Medicines prescribed in treating allergies are –
- Epinephrine injections for sting treatment.
- Antihistamines to reduce swells and irritations.
- Corticosteroids in case of severe swelling, stuffy nose and sneezing.
- Inhaled bronchodilators to reduce sneezing, wheezing and breathing issues.
Moreover, Insect allergies can also lead to anaphylaxis if not treated in time. The venom released from the bite and sting triggers various reactions if you are allergic to an insect or bug.
Apply ice on the wound and monitor to find unusual reactions; if any, consult a doctor and treat it immediately. Take allergy shots if necessary to boost your immune system, especially if you or your family has a history of allergies.
How to Prevent Insect Allergy?
It is hard to prevent insect allergies, but you can take some steps to avoid the risk of reactions.
- Try to stay away from insects that sting or bite.
- Cover up your skin and feet when you venture out.
- Keep your home free from pests and bugs.
- Get allergy shots.
On an endnote, you know one cannot prevent insect bites and stings but can take preventive measures to avoid them. The article discussed above provides enough data for a person to know about the symptoms and treatment of insect allergy. Get going and keep your home free from those pests or cover your body when you roam outside. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of an insect.