closeup wasp (Polistes dominula) on flowers of apricot early spring on sky background

As spring makes its debut, insects and critters alike will be more present and active. With the blooming of flowers and warmer weather, you’ll likely see more stinging insects buzzing through the air. It’s important to keep your distance from these insects to decrease the chance of getting stung. If you are stung, it’s vital to know if your reaction is due to a stinging insect allergy or not.

Allergic Reaction vs. Non-Allergic Reaction

If you are stung by an insect, your body will react to the venom since it is a foreign substance. However, not all reactions are linked to a stinging insect allergy. It’s important to know the difference between an allergic reaction and a non-allergic reaction to a stinging insect:

Signs of an Allergic Reaction
• Abdominal cramps
• Diarrhea
• Difficulty breathing
• Dizziness
• Hives
• Nausea
• Swelling of the throat or tongue

Signs of a Non-Allergic Reaction
• Itchiness
• Redness
• Site swelling

Another way to determine if you have a stinging insect allergy or not is if you experience a local or systemic reaction. A local reaction means your symptoms are produced at the site of the sting (itchiness, redness, swelling, etc.). A systemic reaction means the venom will trigger a response throughout your body and will produce symptoms at the site of the sting and other places (abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, etc.).

When to See an Allergist for Your Stinging Insect Allergy

Most of the time, local reactions are not a medical emergency. They will cause uncomfortable symptoms, but they won’t produce a life-or-death situation. If you’ve been stung and experienced a local reaction, you can always make an appointment with Dr. Brauer to confirm that your local reaction is not severe or will not turn into a larger issue.

However, systemic reactions demand medical help. This is your body’s way of communicating to you that it doesn’t like what happened and a solution is necessary for good health. You should call 911 immediately if you experience a systemic reaction because it could cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that may result in unconsciousness or death. After you’ve recovered, make an appointment with your Owensboro allergist to discuss a treatment plan and education.

Dr. Brauer can diagnose your stinging insect allergy!

It’s vital to determine if your reaction to a stinging insect carries a threat to your overall health. If you’ve been stung or simply want to know if you have a pre-disposition to a stinging insect allergy, make an appointment with Dr. Brauer today. Call us: 270-228-2811