Insect stings commonly cause local swelling, pain, itching and redness at the site of the sting. Many people who have an allergy to insect venom have these same symptoms but causing much larger reactions that can persist for days. Up to 3-4% of Adults and 1% of Children in the general population have an allergy to insects that cause more serious “systemic reactions”. Systemic reactions will not only cause large local reactions at the site of the sting but also can cause diffuse hives, trouble breathing and possibly life threatening symptoms such as throat swelling and anaphylactic shock. The most common insect allergies to cause these types of reactions are from Bee and Fire Ant stings.
Here at the Arizona Asthma and Allergy Institute we have accurate testing to evaluate those at risk for these potentially serious reactions to insect stings. Patients with a known history of serious reactions to Bees or Fire Ants can qualify for allergy injections which can be 98% effective in preventing a systemic reaction to future stings. If you have any questions or want further investigation on your risk of insect allergy then our providers can help you!