• FAQs About Stinging Insect Allergies

    Stinging insects are scary enough without the threat of a severe allergic reaction from their painful stings. While many people will only have slight irritation and swelling after getting stung by a bee or wasp, others can experience a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening without emergency care. Allergy doctors often get questions about stinging insect allergies, so we’ve got a few answers here to help you prepare for your next visit to an allergy specialist.

    What types of insect stings can cause allergic reactions?

    Honeybees, yellow jackets, paper wasps, hornets, and fire ants all have venomous stings that can cause allergic reactions. If you have had an exaggerated reaction to one of these insect stings before, it’s helpful to accurately identify the insect that stung you, so you can tell your allergy doctor. Often, if you’ve had a bad reaction to an insect sting, you are likely to have a more severe allergic reaction if you’re stung again.

    How do I know if I have a stinging insect allergy?

    Unfortunately, there is no way to know your risk of a stinging insect allergy unless you have been stung by an insect and had allergic symptoms. If you do get stung and experience itching over a large area of the body, swelling of the tongue or throat, coughing or wheezing, dizziness, stomach cramps, or low blood pressure, call 911 right away and schedule an appointment with an allergist after you get emergency care. Localized swelling and redness at the site of the sting is not an allergic reaction.

     What can I do about insect allergies?

    Once you learn that you do have a stinging insect allergy, you should talk to your allergy doctor about carrying an epi-pen with you at all times. You can also take measures to avoid contact with insects, such as not walking around barefoot outside, keeping your landscaping trimmed, and using insect repellant. There is also a treatment called venom immunotherapy, which can dramatically reduce your chances of experiencing an extreme reaction.

    If you do have insect allergies, you should not hesitate to talk to an allergist and immunologist about your treatment options before another extreme reaction occurs. For allergy care in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania, you can count on Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM. Call us at 1(800)86-COUGH to learn more about what we do.

  • What Happens to the Body During Anaphylaxis?

    When your body recognizes a substance as an allergen, there is usually a localized reaction, such as sneezing and a runny nose, or hives in one area of the body. If you have a serious allergic reaction, you may experience anaphylaxis, which is a form of shock that happens throughout the whole body. This video offers an explanation of anaphylaxis along with the steps you should take when you identify the symptoms. If anaphylaxis is not treated immediately, it is life-threatening.

    If you suffer from allergies and worry about a severe allergic reaction, schedule an appointment with Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM to discuss your allergy treatment options and emergency strategies. We provide care with offices in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania and you can reach us at 1(800)86-COUGH for an appointment.

  • Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to Medication

    When you visit a hospital or doctor’s office, you will probably be asked if you have any drug allergies, or allergies to any medications. This is an important question, because medications that do cause you to have an allergic reaction can pose a dangerous situation in your treatment with a wide range of potential symptoms.

    Like other allergies, there is a risk of anaphylaxis in severe cases. This is a life-threatening reaction that can cause difficulty breathing and severe inflammation. Drug allergies may also cause symptoms such as:

    • Hives, which are usually accompanied by itching.
    • A sudden drop in blood pressure.
    • Wheezing or coughing.

    Usually the symptoms of an allergic reaction to medication will occur suddenly and should be managed with emergency care.

    If you have experienced a medication allergy, you should work with an allergy doctor to manage this allergic reaction and understand your treatment alternatives. Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM can provide complete allergy care with patient education from our compassionate providers serving Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. You can reach us online or at 1(800)86-COUGH.

  • Avoiding Dust Allergy Triggers While Cleaning

    Dust contains the droppings from dust mites, tiny (microscopic) eight-legged creatures that are closely related to ticks and spiders. They grow best in warm, humid areas and live predominantly on a diet of human flakes of skin. It is these droppings that trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.

    Symptoms of dust mite allergy tend to be most prominent in the spring, fall and winter. Dust mites thrive in fabrics such as mattresses, pillows, bedding, carpet, upholstered furniture and stuffed animals. To reduce the amount of dust in your home—and make cleaning a less triggering activity—make it a goal to keep clutter off your floors, wipe down counter and furniture surfaces daily, vacuum your carpets weekly, and change blankets, throw rugs, and bed linen as frequently as possible.

    If you have allergies, it’s important for you to find effective ways to avoid triggers while you’re cleaning your home. Avoid using commercial cleaners that use harsh chemicals such as ammonia or formaldehyde. Instead, opt for non-toxic cleaners such as mixtures that use baking soda and vinegar.

    Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM provides state-of-the-art allergy testing and treatment for the entire family. Our goal is to help you find relief from your symptoms so you can get back to enjoying your life again. To set up a consultation, call 1(800)86-COUGH. We have conveniently located offices in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, King of Prussia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.

  • Is Your Asthma Under Control?

    How can you tell if your asthma is uncontrolled? As an experienced allergist explains in this video from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, you can determine whether you need to see an allergist about your asthma by using the “rule of two.” If you’re needing to use your rescue inhaler more than twice a week—and not when you’re exercising or otherwise physically exerting yourself—or if you find yourself waking up in the night as a result of your asthma, it’s time to contact an allergist.

    Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM works to provide all of our patients with the capable care and effective asthma treatment they deserve. If you’d like to learn more about our services, call 1(800)86-COUGH to reach one of our locations near Collegeville, Pottstown, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania.