Insect venom allergy is a very harmful reaction to insect stings that occurs in people who have an abnormally high sensitivity to insect venom (Nguyen 7). Animals that would be classified as insects usually have a head, thorax, and abdomen and it is most common to have six legs and a pair of sensory antennae. Winged insects, such as mosquitoes, bees, and wasps, have two sets of wings and other biting or stinging insects include fleas, lice, and ants. Many other related animals that are usually mistaken for insects such as spiders, ticks, and mites also bite humans but they transmit infectious diseases or cause poisoning and generally do not cause allergic reactions like insects do (Penn State).
An allergic reaction to insect venom occurs when the body’s immune system produces disease fighting cells that release chemicals which injures the surrounding cells that cause the physical symptoms of an allergic reaction in response to the insect venom. Certain disease fighting cells release histamines that infect the skin, smooth muscle cells, and the mucous membrane (Nguyen 3). Allergic reactions to insect venom such as yellow jackets, hornets, honey bee, fire ants or wasps can possibly be life threatening. Life threatening allergic reactions to insect bites can occur without any previous symptoms of allergy. In fact most people with insect bites or stings do not experience a severe reaction to their first bite or sting (Stings 2).
Symptoms to insect venom allergies often begin within the first 20 minutes and the first common symptom is itchiness that can affect any part of the skin, eyes, and or nose. The person may begin to sneeze, feel congested, wheeze, and develop hives and or swelling when the symptom begins to progress. These are warning signs of a possibly dangerous condition called anaphylaxis. Some symptoms of anaphylaxis include sudden weakness, difficulty breathing, anxiety, tightness in the chest area, lightheadedness and loss of...