Insect sting allergy: Proper management

An individual with insect sting allergy might suffer from a minor or severe reaction. An allergy can be managed using a 2-step approach:

  • Emergency treatment of the symptoms of a severe reaction once they arise
  • Preventive management of the original allergy using venom immunotherapy

A severe allergic reaction can rapidly progress and necessitates immediate medical care. Emergency treatment generally involves certain drugs including epinephrine, antihistamines and even corticosteroids, oxygen, intravenous fluids and other treatments. Once the condition of the individual is stabilized, close monitoring is done in a healthcare facility.

insect-sting-allergy

The injectable or auto-injectable epinephrine is often prescribed as emergency medication for an allergic reaction.

The injectable or auto-injectable epinephrine is often prescribed as emergency medication for an allergic reaction. Individuals who experienced previous reactions and depending on epinephrine must bring one always.

Venom immunotherapy for insect sting allergy

A continuing treatment for insect sting allergy is known as venom immunotherapy which is a very effective regimen given by an allergist. This can prevent future allergic reactions to insect stings.

This therapy involves gradual administration of increasing doses of venom to reduce the sensitivity of the individual to the venom. This lowers the risk for a future allergic reaction. Within weeks or months, an individual who is constantly suffering from severe reactions can return to normal lives.

Preventive measures

  • Avoid walking barefoot or wearing sandals in grass.
  • Do not swat at a flying insect. Simply brush aside gently or wait for it to leave.
  • Avoid drinking from open beverage cans.
  • When eating outside, always keep food covered properly.
  • Do not use any perfumes, colognes, hair sprays and deodorants.
  • Garbage bins and cans outside must be covered with a tight-fitting lid or cover.
  • Gardening or any yard work must be done with caution by wearing shoes and socks and work gloves.
  • Screens should be installed on doors and windows.
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