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It is common for people to experience swelling or redness as a result of contact with insect venom, usually through an insect bite. However, some people suffer severe allergic reaction to insect bites and stinging venom. In such people, contact with stinging venom may trigger a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

Because of the severe risk involved in such a reaction, it is important to understand and recognize the different between normal reactions to insect bites and a severe allergic reaction. Allergic reactions should be treated properly and without delay to avoid prolonged problems or fatality. Knowing what to look for can save a life. Taking preventive measures also helps to ensure the health and safety of yourself and those around you.

Understanding Venom Allergy (Insect Allergy):

Allergic reactions occur when the immune system treats an otherwise harmless substance as it would a threat. Contact with the substance (allergen) triggers an allergic reaction. When an insect bite contains highly concentrated toxins, burning pain may result at the site of the sting. The five most common insects to carry such venom include:

  • Fire Ants
  • Hornets
  • Paper Wasps
  • Yellow Jackets
  • Honeybees

If you know what these insects look like, what environments you are likely to find them in, and what seasons they are most active, you can help to avoid contact. Use this knowledge to prepare for outdoor activities in which you or a loved one may be exposed to such insects. A few simple measure that help to avoid insect allergy include:

  • Wearing Protective Footwear And Clothing To Protect Skin
  • Taking Extra Precautions When Hiking Or Doing Other Activities Where Insects May Be Active
  • Wearing Insect Repellent

If you or a loved one suffer from stinging insect allergy, Allergy Asthma & immunology Institute can assist you in understanding the condition and being prepared in the event of exposure. Having a plan in place allows you and your family to minimize risk and respond accordingly if needed.


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  • American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
  • American College of Allergy Asthma Immunology - Allergist
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