Insect Bite Allergies

Insect Bite AllergiesInsect bite allergy is an adverse reaction of the immune system of the body to an insect bite like an ant. Several bites increase the risk of a serious reaction or even death. The symptoms of an insect bite allergy may differ from one person to another. Nearly 2 million Americans suffer from insect bite allergies. Approximately, 500,000 Americans seek immediate medical attention for treating insect bite allergies every year. Also, their stings cause 50 – 150 deaths in United States annually.This article discusses about the causes, symptoms and treatment for insect bite allergies.

Insect bite allergy is a harmful reaction that usually occurs in people who are highly sensitive to insect venom. This condition is an acquired trait, that is not present at the first bite, but sensitization occurs after the first or subsequent bites.

Causes of Insect Bites Allergies:

Following are some of the causes of insect bite allergies:

Usually insects do not attack until they are provoked. Most stings and bites are defensive. Insects sting for protecting their nests or hives. A bite or sting injects a protein composed of venoms and other substances which trigger allergies in a person. The sting triggers swelling and redness at the injected site.

Fire ants, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps and bees belong to Hymenoptera family. Stings from these insects can trigger severe reactions in people who are allergic to them. Death from bee stings is 3 – 4 times common compared to snake bites.

In contrast, mosquito bites typically don’t cause significant illness, until they convey microorganisms which stay in these mosquitoes. For example, malaria is triggered by an organism which spends a part of its life cycle in a particular mosquito species.

Symptoms of Insect Bite Allergy:

Symptoms of insect bite allergy develop within 15 to 30 minutes and occur from the site of sting. Following are the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions to insect bite mentioned in several sources.

  • Low blood pressure
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Localized redness
  • Flushing
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Sense of panic
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid heat rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramping
  • Throat swelling
  • Tongue swelling
  • Lip swelling
  • Generalized and localized itching
  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Eye swelling
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry cough

Treatment of Insect Bite Allergies

If you are stung by any insect, make sure you remove the stinger that is left behind. Rinse the area with soap and water, and apply a cold compress to the area. If you are prone to insect bite allergies, it is better to avoid areas where there is a chance for insect bite. Mild symptoms can be relieved by over the counter antihistamines, topical corticosteroid creams and pain relievers.

This is all about insect bite allergy in brief.

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