Lose your fear of bee stings with allergy shots from your Crystal Lake allergy specialist
Most people harbor at least a bit of anxiety when faced with a circling bee. These tiny creatures pack quite the punch, leaving welts and pain behind after they strike. For many, temporary discomfort is the height of the bee sting experience. There are those, however, whose reaction to a single bee sting is far more dramatic.
Suffering an allergic reaction to a bee sting can be quite distressing. The anaphylactic response that occurs in somewhere around three percent of the population can be potentially life-threatening, requiring immediate medical attention. In this allergic reaction, one may experience sensations such as:
- Rapid skin response away from the area of the sting, such as paleness or flushing, hives, and itching.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Dizziness, sometimes before fainting.
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- A rapid but weak heartbeat.
- Swelling of the tongue, closing of the throat.
- Loss of consciousness.
It is not possible to predict the severity of one’s reaction to a sting from a bee or other insect, such as fire ants. Even from one sting to the next, reaction can vary widely. Research shows that there is a 70 percent chance that a subsequent systemic reaction will occur in stings by the same type of insect after the first experience. Because severe allergic reactions are unpredictable and pose a threat to life, finding a viable solution to this type of allergy is critical.
Typically, a person treated for an anaphylactic reaction to an insect sting is prescribed an epinephrine delivery device that becomes a constant companion for the person allergic to stinging insects. Epinephrine is not a routine medication. It is to be used in emergency situations, after a sting has occurred. Some people are advised to carry two injectable epinephrine devices in case of a prolonged reaction.
Epinephrine is only one way to address allergies to stinging insects. While injections of this medication can decrease the severity of a reaction, there are clear obstacles. The primary problem with this form of treatment is the consequence of an insect sting in the absence of a pen.
There is an alternative to carrying epinephrine forever – venom immunotherapy. This therapy is designed for prevention of severe allergic reactions to insect stings. Venom immunotherapy consists of controlled injections of insect venom. Performed at regular intervals over a period of time, these allergy shots decrease a person’s sensitivity to the type of insect that produces his or her serious reaction.
Epinephrine is given after a sting. Venom immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, is administered in our Crystal Lake, Lake Barrington, or Elgin office as a preventive measure to stop severe allergic response from occurring. Allergy shots for insect allergies have been proven to be over 90 percent effective, and suitable for people of all ages.
Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates/Food Allergy Center of Illinois understands the discomfort of your allergies. We can help you live life to the fullest with appropriate immunotherapy. Contact us today for your consultation.