Pets are man’s best friend. What if you have allergies and have always wanted a cat or a dog?
Common insect stings in Singapore come from yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, and honey bees. After stinging human’s skin, the insects leave behind their stingers. The stingers are best removed by a scraping action, rather than a pulling motion to prevent further squeezing of more venom into the affected skin.
The body’s immune system reacts differently towards insect stings. Reactions can range from simple painful swelling and redness to severe life-threatening conditions such as anaphylaxis. A person who has experienced an allergic reaction to insect sting has a 40-60% chance of a similar or even more severe reaction for each subsequent sting.
Most people sustain localized pain, redness, and swelling over the affected area of an insect sting.
In the case of an Insect Sting Allergy, the immune system overreacts to the sting, leading to possible symptoms of anaphylaxis with symptoms involving more than one body system such as:
Insect stings can also cause a toxic reaction. This is not an allergic reaction, rather, the body perceives the insect venom as a poison. Having said that, both toxic reaction and allergy reaction from insect stings can cause similar symptoms in the affected person. In a severe toxic reaction, one can have fainting spells, shock, seizure, or even succumb to the reaction.
Your doctor will obtain a thorough history of your current and previous stings. It will be useful to inform your doctor about how many stings you have had, the reactions from the stings, and how long the reaction lasted in the past. In certain circumstances, your doctor may offer skin prick tests or blood tests to an insect venom panel.
It is important to avoid contact with insects in the first place. If you are allergic to insect stings, take precautionary measures against this.
Anaphylaxis and Immediate Treatment
If you have an anaphylactic reaction, please ask for help and call 995 as you will need immediate medical attention. This can be life-threatening. Immediate epinephrine injection can be life-saving. Aside from delivering epinephrine, other emergency medications include antihistamine, corticosteroids, intravenous fluids, and oxygen. Anaphylaxis patients usually need to be admitted to the hospital overnight for observation.
Long Term Treatment with Venom Immunotherapy
This is a form of long term management. It is a procedure done by trained doctors or allergists by the gradual introduction of incremental venom doses to a person. This is with the theory of repeated exposure to the venom will reduce a person’s immune system sensitivity towards the venom, hence reducing the risk of a future allergic reaction.
Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots is introduced to build tolerance and 97% protection against the future sting. This therapy is particularly useful to those who are active outdoor individuals for both recreational activities or work-related activities.
Most insect stings in Singapore are from yellow jackets, hornets, honey bees, wasps.
Once stung, twice shy! Be careful, and avoid insect stings! Take care!
Your body’s immune system is naturally wired to fend off infections and pathogens to keep you healthy.
A pet allergy refers to a reaction that you have toward your pet’s skin, dander, saliva, or urine. On most occasions, it is the dead skin cells that cause the pet allergy.
A dust mite allergy refers to an allergic reaction to dust-mite wastes. The waste of dust mites and our bodies can trigger allergic reactions.
While allergy treatment medications are available and can be effective to a certain degree, they don’t cure people of allergies.
Allergies can occur to anyone, anytime. Allergies can affect our daily activities and reduce our quality of lives.