Patients in Lake Barrington ask Allergy Specialist about immunotherapy for insect sting allergies
An allergic reaction to an insect bite can develop at any age, even if prior stings had no adverse reaction. Hymenoptera is the name for a severe reaction to insect venom, affecting about three percent of adults and one percent of children.
The insects most commonly causing this condition are honeybees, hornets, yellow jackets, fire ants, and wasps. While an unpleasant sensation, venom stings most often create a mild reaction such as redness, pain, or swelling that may last up to a few days. Some patients, however, experience a systemic allergy to insect venom, which can be a life-threatening situation. Previous stings increase a person’s sensitivity to the venom, with 60 percent of people likely to have a more severe reaction to another incident.
Allergy to insect venom can cause an anaphylactic reaction, which might include:
- Hives – an itchy, red rash
- Swelling of the throat, mouth, or face
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden decrease in blood pressure or dizziness
For patients who experience a systemic reaction to insect venom, immediate medical treatment is critical. At Advanced Allergy and Asthma Associates in Lake Barrington, Crystal Lake, and Elgin, Illinois, Drs. Noga Askenazi, Dipika Patel, and Eugenia Hahn, advise patients who suspect a venom allergy to carry an Epi-pen at all times.
Immunotherapy is an effective, long-term treatment for patients with venom allergies. This treatment has been found to reduce the risk of fatal allergies from insect bites by up to 95 percent. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of asthma and allergies, immunotherapy involves a series of gentle injections. The injections deliver small doses of the allergen, which gradually increase until the patient’s sensitivity is significantly reduced.
Immunotherapy is the only curative treatment for venom allergies and has lasting results. Drs. Askenazi, Patel, and Hahn carefully evaluate each patient to determine if he or she is an appropriate candidate for immunotherapy to reduce the risk of anaphylactic reaction to insect stings. A comprehensive consultation and health assessment is conducted.
Our board-certified physicians specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma and allergies. Advanced Allergy and Asthma Associates are conveniently located in Elgin, Lake Barrington, and Crystal Lake, Illinois. Appointments may be requested online or by calling 847 888 8802.