Many Americans are allergic to insect stings. With many different types of stinging insects and variations in reactions it can be confusing to determine if you have a true allergy and to what type of insect. A true allergic reaction is one that results in anaphylaxis, with the possibility of the following symptoms;
- Hives, itching, and swelling in areas other than the sting site
- Tightness in the chest and/or difficulty breathing
- Hoarseness of voice or swelling of tongue
- Sudden drop in blood pressure
- Unconsciousness or cardiac arrest
- Nausea, abdominal cramps, or diarrhea
A normal reaction to an insect sting usually results in swelling, pain, itching and redness at the sting site. A large local reaction can occur and involves swelling beyond the sting site and may require the use of an antihistamine or steroid to reduce the swelling.
There are five common types of stinging insects. Those include yellow jacket, honey bees and bumble bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants.
For more information on prevention and at home care of stings check out this website.