Hypersensitivity type may be- Type I Allergy
Immune reactions may be from- IgE
Reactions may occur in- Minutes
For a person with an Insect allergy, everyday activities that don't normally seem risky, place them at risk for a likely reaction from Insects.
Activities that may be risky include but are not limited to sitting on a park bench, sleeping in bed, walking on the beach, going to the shed, opening a cupboard, etc.
Insect allergies can be caused through:
- Insect Stings
- Insect Bites
- Insect Debris
Insect allergies can lead to mild to severe and life threatening reactions. However, not all reactions are allergic and may just cause irritation of the skin.
TYPES OF INSECT ALLERGIES
There are three causes of insect allergies:
- STINGS- Caused by the venom injected when being stung by an Allergy causing insect. Some common stinging insects include bees (honey bees and native Australian bees), wasps (paper wasps and European wasps) and ants (jack jumper, green-head, bulldog ants). Anaphylaxis can occur from stinging insect allergy and results in an average of three deaths per year in Australia. Allergies to venoms from stinging insects (bees, wasps and ants) are one of the most common causes of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) in Australia. Honey bees are the most common cause of sting related insect allergy reactions.
- BITES- Caused by being bitten by an Allergy causing insect. Some common biting insects include fleas, bedbugs, mosquitoes and flies.
- DEBRIS- Caused by the debris left by insects. Some common debris leaving insects include flies and cockroaches.
Symptoms may depend on the type of insect encountered and may be characterised by:
- Skin rashes
- Runny noses
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Asthma aggravation
Insects can also cause non-allergic reactions due to their toxic venom or the serum they secrete.
The validity and severity of these symptoms are dependent on the individual and the level of exposure, as determined by a qualified health care provider.
If you experience or are in the presence of someone that encounters an immediate serious reaction (this may include difficulty breathing, wheezing, throat tightening, swelling, collapse, etc), call or have someone call triple zero (000) immediately.
In the case of a minor allergic reaction, people may use Antihistamines, Decongestants, along with other medications based on their individual symptoms and prescribed treatments.
For severe allergic reactions Epinephrine may be used, followed by seeking emergency medical attention. However, some people may not be able to use Epinephrine due to particular reasons.
It’s important for anyone with an Allergy, to discuss treatments with a qualified health care provider to understand how to manage individual allergies and also to set up an Allergy Action Plan in the case of a reaction.
Always present your Allergy Card, Medical Alert Bracelet or Necklace to ensure health care providers, family members, friends, colleagues and others are aware of your Allergy or Allergies.
A skin prick test or a blood test may be used to test for an Insect Allergy.
Some labels or terms you may come across on Insect Allergy friendly products:
- "Insect Repellent"
RANDOM INSECT FACT
The word insect comes from the Latin word 'Insectum', which literally means "cut up" or "cut into".
The information provided on Allergy Life Australia is to generally educate and inform you about living with allergies, intolerances and conditions, and is not intended as medical instruction or as a substitute for diagnosis, examination and advice by a qualified health care provider.
ARE THERE ANY PLACES YOU COME ACROSS INSECTS COMMONLY? HAVE YOU HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH AN INSECT ALLERGY OR KNOW SOMEONE THAT HAS? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW