Chances are fairly good that you’ve already dealt with an insect bite or sting at some point. For many, these bug bites may be a little annoying, but they go away in a couple of days; however, other people can have serious allergic reactions to bug bites and stings. It’s important to understand more about the different types of bites and stings, the types of allergic reactions that can occur, and when you should see an allergist for care.
Insects that Bite
There are a variety of insects that can bite and cause allergic reactions. The most common types include,
- Certain types of flies
While bug bites can be a nuisance, they rarely cause serious or life-threatening allergic reactions.
Insects that Sting
The most common types of insects that sting include,
- Fire ants
Unlike bug bites, which typically do not cause serious allergic reactions, venom from some insects can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.
Signs of an Allergic Reaction
A normal reaction to a bug bite is to experience a little pain, swelling, itching, or redness near the area. Symptoms may last a few hours or a couple of days, but usually aren’t anything to worry about. This is a normal reaction, and not considered an allergic reaction.
However, a severe allergic reaction (aka anaphylaxis) can be deadly, so you must be able to recognize the symptoms in yourself or others so you can seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include,
- Hives or blotchy skin that spreads all over the body
- Swelling of the lips or tongue
- Trouble breathing
Allergies to household pests that don’t bite or sting (think, dust mites) can lead to allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and sneezing. If these are symptoms you’ve been experiencing for weeks on end, you may have indoor allergies. This is when you may wish to see an allergist find out whether you may have an allergy to cockroaches or dust mites.
While severe allergic reactions to bug bites and stings will require emergency medical attention, our allergists can still provide you with ways to manage your allergy symptoms and non-life-threatening allergic reactions. Talk to your allergist today.