In the case of an insect venom allergy, the persons concerned are allergic to the bite of a bumblebee, a wasp, a bee, a hornet or other similar insects. If one of the said insects feels threatened, the animals defend themselves with their sting, whereby the respective insect venom can be injected under the skin and, in the worst case, trigger an insect venom allergy.
Furthermore, there are also people who develop an insect venom allergy in an ant bite. An insect venom allergy is an overreaction to the ingredients contained in the poison. For ordinary people, a bite of native insects is usually harmless. Normally, an insect venom allergy only becomes noticeable after a repeated stitch.
The cause of the insect poison allergy is the bite of a poisonous insect. People who suffer from insect venom allergies are primarily allergic to the poison of wasps and bees. On the other hand, the stings of the big knot ants and bumblebees cause far less of an insect venom allergy. In honeybees, only females are capable of causing an insect venom allergy.
Unlike most other allergy forms, genetic predisposition probably does not play a major role in the development of an insect venom allergy. Responsible for the allergic reaction are various, contained in the poison ingredients that vary from insect species to insect species. However, there are many people who are hypersensitive to both bee and wasp stings, as two substances responsible for insect venom allergy are present in the poisons of both insect species.
Hornet poison has approximately the same allergenic composition as wasp venom. However, as hornets stumble much less frequently, an insect venom allergy is much rarer in this regard.
In the case of an insect venom allergy, a swelling develops in the area of the insect bite which usually itches and is reddened around the puncture. These symptoms are usually harmless and resolve within a day. More serious is the allergic reaction of the body to the allergen. An allergic shock can affect the entire organism and especially the respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal tract.
In the respiratory tract, swallowing and speaking difficulties, running cold, shortness of breath and swelling may occur. Also typical are red, watery and itchy eyes. In the circulatory system, tachycardia, shortness of breath and dizziness occur, often accompanied by anxiety and panic attacks.
In the gastrointestinal tract symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps occur. The symptoms and complaints that occur in detail depend on the type of allergens and the period of treatment. If the poison is removed immediately, the symptoms resolve after a few days, while it can lead to serious complications in severe cases, which sometimes have long-term effects. In extreme cases, the allergic person falls into a coma after a sting or suffers a heart attack. The first signs of an impending loss of consciousness are dizziness, blurred vision and difficulty breathing.
In insect venom allergy one distinguishes five different degrees with regard to the course of the disease. At grade 0, a local swelling occurs which is greater than the area of a hand. Grade I insect venom allergy manifests itself in a mild general reaction, usually in a generalized hives, with nausea, anxiety and itching. Grade II insect venom allergy may cause the symptoms of Grade I, as well as lip swelling, dyspnea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and chest tightness.
In grade III insect venom allergy severe general reactions are expected. In addition to the symptoms of grade II, swallowing problems, an indistinct language, weakness, lightheadedness, hoarseness, and fear of death can also be the result of insect venom allergy. The most severe form of insect venom allergy is the shock reaction with an additional blue coloration of the lips, an unavoidable urine or stool discharge, unconsciousness, drop in blood pressure and a collapse (anaphylactic shock). Up to 20 people die each year in Germany alone in the causes of insect venom allergy.
An insect venom allergy can in the worst case lead to death if it is pronounced and after the insect bite no medical treatment. However, if contact with insects is avoided, the insect venom allergy will not cause any further discomfort or complications. Should a sting occur, patients will suffer from various symptoms in most cases.
It comes to swelling and burning pain at the injection site. Likewise, itching occurs and the person affected can suffer from respiratory distress. Not infrequently, there is also a circulatory shock and the person affected can lose consciousness. The sufferers often suffer from dizziness and anxiety, which often leads to panic attacks. There is a feeling of tightness in the chest and often pain in the stomach.
After an insect bite, treatment should always be taken to avoid irreversible sequelae. The treatment itself takes place with the help of medication and does not lead to further complaints or complications. If treated early, the life expectancy of the person affected by the insect venom allergy is not affected.
An insect venom allergy can be life-threatening, so sufferers should rather too often visit the doctor than too little, especially if it comes after an insect bite to Begleitymptomen such as a strong redness of the sting site, itching and Wheal. An allergic reaction can also cause swelling of the face and neck, often accompanied by shortness of breath. In case of a sting in the mouth, a doctor must be consulted immediately. If, after an insect bite, your eyes are watery, your throat is scratching, your nose is running, symptoms like dizziness, rapid heartbeat, chest tightness, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and speech, even disorientation, it is important to call an ambulance to show signs of an allergic shock. An allergic shock is life threatening and can lead to circulatory failure with respiratory arrest.
People who suffer from an already-diagnosed insect venom allergy usually carry an emergency kit with them. You should always carry this with you and inform people in the area about what they need to do in an emergency. Possibly. The doctor may also perform an immunotherapy for desensitization.
The insect venom allergy can be diagnosed by means of a blood and skin test. If it comes to an insect bite to the symptoms mentioned, then an allergist should be consulted immediately, as an insect venom allergy may possibly be fatal. If an insect venom allergy is known, the person concerned should, in his own interest, always carry a liquid cortisone preparation, a liquid antihistamine and adrenaline as a pre-filled syringe or as a spray.
Furthermore, an insect venom allergy can be treated by immunotherapy. Such hyposensitization in an insect venom allergy usually extends over three to five years. The success rate is around 90 percent. In the context of a rapid immunotherapy, however, a desired hyposensitization can be achieved after a few days or weeks. However, such a rapid method requires constant monitoring by an allergist, since the risk of an anaphylactic shock in an insect sting allergy is very high.
Individuals who suffer from insect venom allergy need proper follow-up care. Immediately after the treatment of shock, various measures may be taken depending on the nature and severity of the allergy. After an allergic shock, which occurs as a result of an undiagnosed insect venom allergy, is usually the referral to an allergist, who takes over the treatment and initiates further action.
The physician observes the course of the disease and can issue an allergy pass for newly diagnosed allergic persons. The passport can be used to quickly administer a suitable drug to the patient in an emergency. This emergency medication must be prescribed as part of the aftercare. The allergist also informs the patient about an immunotherapy. The so-called VIT treatment makes the body tolerant to insect venom.
Finally, there is also a change in lifestyle for aftercare. Allergy sufferers should strictly avoid contact with insects and ensure that the emergency medication and allergy passport are always readily available. Affected children should be educated by parents about the risks and safety measures. Secondary and tertiary prevention minimizes the risk of renewed allergic shock. The aftercare should be done by the allergist, the family doctor or another appropriate specialist.
The prognosis of an insect venom allergy is usually favorable. The intensity, the extent of the insect venom allergy and the state of health of the person affected are decisive for the further course.
With very slight signs of intoxication, self-help measures often suffice to relieve the symptoms. The removal of an insect barb and the suction of the poison may already be sufficient to bring about a relief of the discomfort. A recovery is to be expected in these cases after the healing of the wound.
With increasing severity of physical impairments and health disorders, the need for medical care is needed. With a fast and professional treatment it comes within a short time to an improvement. In most cases, within a few days a complete complaint free form occurs. The medical care should take place immediately, since it is difficult to predict in particular with allergy sufferers to which physical reactions the allergy leads.
In some cases, an allergic shock reaction may occur. This holds a potential life-threatening and therefore indicates a particularly unfavorable disease course. Since there is the possibility of life-threatening development, the consultation of a doctor is necessary even at the first major irregularities or the increase in symptoms. If the person is subject to hyposensitivity, the risk of anaphylactic shock increases. Without special protective measures and adequate provision, an emergency situation threatens.
With an insect poison allergy should first go to the doctor. The physician will first diagnose the allergy and then issue the person concerned with an allergy badge. This should always be worn - as well as the emergency kit with cortisone, adrenaline and Co. In the first place, however, should be tried to avoid contact with insects.
Patients who are at increased risk of insect bites due to their job or living conditions are recommended to be hyposensitized. When walking outdoors, avoid "seductive" places for wasps, bees and Co. In addition, long, light, tight-fitting clothing and closed shoes should be worn. At home, it is best to install an insect screen. Special fragrances from the pharmacy that expel the insects can be placed on the doors and windows.
If, despite all precautionary measures, an insect bite occurs, first aid must be provided immediately. First, the sting must be removed, after which the puncture site should be cooled and covered. If you have a severe allergy, you should call the ambulance and use the emergency medication you have brought along. Further helpful tips are available from the German Allergy and Asthma Association