Most people experience redness, swelling and itching at the site of an insect bite. But for some people, their immune systems overreact to the insect venom and they develop a severe immune reaction that may be life-threatening called anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis symptoms include:

  • Itching and hives
  • Swelling in the throat or tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Rapid fall in blood pressure resulting in shock and loss of consciousness in severe cases

Anaphylaxis is considered a medical emergency and may be fatal, so getting immediate emergency medical care is important.

There are now products containing epinephrine that you can carry with you at all times to self-administer in the case of an insect sting by the type of insect that caused your reaction. These include yellow jackets, honeybees, wasps, hornets and fire ants.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.