Insect activity, especially bee activity, increases during the spring and summer months in Arizona.  Approximately 0.5% of children and 3% of adults will have a reaction to insect stings. It’s important to be aware of how to avoid these insects and protect yourself.  

 

The most common symptoms with insect sting allergy are pain, redness, swelling in the area of the sting and spreading beyond the area, flushing, hives or welts, itching, and more severe symptoms of anaphylactic shock.  

 

Many people have a small, localized area of itching, redness and swelling after a sting. A true allergic reaction involves local reactions which cause swelling and redness that extends beyond the area of the initial sting, hives, chest tightness or shortness of breath, or anaphylaxis. These symptoms warrant immediate medical attention.  Anaphylaxis is the most severe type of reaction, and can be fatal if not treated with epinephrine right away.

 

Don’t worry – It’s important to know that severe anaphylactic reactions are rare. However, people who have experienced an allergic reaction to an insect sting have a 60% chance of similar or worse symptoms if stung again, and should be evaluated by an allergist for further evaluation and treatment.  

 

After taking a detailed history of the sting and the symptoms and performing any necessary testing, your allergist will recommend the right treatment for you. The most important thing is to have epinephrine auto-injector available if there is a risk of another allergic reaction. There’s also the possibility of doing immunotherapy (allergy shots) for venom to help prevent future allergic reactions.

 

Avoiding the insect all together is the best treatment. There are many precautions that can be taken to avoid exposure, including: avoiding walking barefoot in the grass, keeping any outdoor food covered at all times, avoid sweet and citrus-scented colognes or perfumes, avoid wearing bright colored clothing, and keeping window and door screens in good repair.

 

If you’ve had an allergic reaction to an insect sting, it’s important to discuss with your allergist at AAAI to develop the best treatment plan for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Researchers evaluated children ages 2-16 years of age and found that 42% of the time, proper steps for inhaler technique were not followed. And 18% of the time, a spacer device was not used with their inhaler. A spacer is a device that is recommended for use with certain inhalers to help the medication reach the lungs. Though the study looked at very young children, they found that teens were the MOST likely to make mistakes or to not use a spacer. Also, it is common to think that spacer devices are only for children, when in fact we recommend them for adults and teens as well. Using a spacer deivce boosts the amount of medication getting to the lungs from 34% to 83%! Improper inhaler technique can lead to uncontrolled asthma, more symptoms and “sick visits” to doctor’s offices, ER’s, or urgent cares. It can also lead to stronger medication being prescribed unnecessarily. Other studies have shown that many patients misuse their inhalers or miss an important step, even if they have been on the same inhaler for many years. If you are prescribed an inhaler for asthma, staff at AAAI are more than willing to demonstrate proper use of your inhaler and spacer device. If you are not sure if you are using it correctly, or your inhaler recently changed, be sure to ask staff for a demonstration and proper teaching. If the right medication is being used properly, this can lead to optimal asthma control and a full, rich life despite being an asthma patient!

Q: Is there such a thing as a hypoallergenic dog? A: The answer is No! This may surprise you – There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed! Many people think that dog allergies are caused by a dog’s fur, but the real source is a protein that’s found in the saliva and urine. […]