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Stinging Insect Allergy

Allergy and Asthma Specialists located in Duluth, GA

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Stinging Insect Allergy services offered in Duluth, GA


Though most people can shrug off insect stings as little more than a minor aggravation, some people have a serious allergic reaction. Extensive swelling after an insect sting is a red flag telling you to get allergy testing and treatment from Lakshmi Reddy, MD, at Allergy and Asthma Institute, LLC. Seeking early treatment may protect your life, as stinging insect allergies can cause a severe anaphylactic reaction. To learn if your reaction signals an allergy, call the office in Duluth, Georgia, or book an appointment online today.

Stinging Insect Allergy Q & A

What causes a stinging insect allergy? 

Stinging insect allergies begin when your immune system triggers a reaction to the insect’s venom. The stinging insects that most often cause an allergic reaction include:

  • Honeybees
  • Hornets
  • Wasps
  • Yellowjackets
  • Fire ants

While fire ants are known for biting people, they can also aggressively sting and inject venom if they feel threatened.

What localized symptoms does a stinging insect allergy cause?

Nearly everyone experiences some pain and itchiness, as well as a small, red, swollen spot at the site of the insect sting. 

If you have an allergic reaction, you have more severe symptoms and swelling that expands beyond the sting site. For example, after stepping on a bee, the swelling may go from your foot up to your leg.

Stinging ants cause an itchy bump that turns into a blister. Should the blister break, it can easily become infected, leaving a scar after it heals.

What happens during a severe stinging insect allergy reaction?

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that appears quickly and progresses rapidly. This response occurs when the chemicals released by your immune system trigger a response in multiple body areas.

You experience symptoms such as:

  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling in your throat or tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea or diarrhea

Without treatment, your blood pressure can fall, causing shock and potentially leading to death.

How are stinging insect allergies treated?

Allergy and Asthma Institute, LLC, begins by reviewing your medical history and learning about your symptoms and the type of insect you encountered. Then they run allergy testing, such as a skin prick test.

While it’s important to avoid stinging insects as much as possible, your primary treatment includes:

Carrying and using an epinephrine pen

To stop an anaphylactic reaction, you need to inject epinephrine right after the insect stings. If you have a severe allergy, you may need two injections.

Epinephrine is an emergency rescue medication. You still need to call 911 because you may need additional treatment.

Getting venom immunotherapy

Venom immunotherapy gradually reduces the severity of your allergic reaction by desensitizing your immune system. As your provider gives you gradually increasing doses of the venom, your immune system stops triggering such extreme responses.

Stinging insect allergies need careful medical care from the expert allergists at Allergy and Asthma Institute, LLC. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book online today.


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