If you have recently had an allergic reaction to an insect sting, especially one from a bee, hornet, wasp, or yellowjacket, you might be preparing yourself for a lifetime of being attached to rescue allergy medication like an epinephrine pen. However, you can make that attachment a lot less scary and a lot easier by undergoing immunotherapy -- aka having allergy shots. The popular image of immunotherapy involves allergies to pets and plants, but it has been available for insect sting allergies for quite some time. Here are three reasons why you need to arrange for immunotherapy now instead of later.
No Control Over Insects
It is easy to think that, since you now know you're allergic to stings, that you'll just keep an eye out and avoid areas with bees or whatever other insect you're allergic to. The problem with that is that you can't control the insects. They can show up and try to start a hive or nest at your home unexpectedly -- you can walk out your front door one morning only to find an angry wasp at your side, for example. You can also be walking through a concrete parking lot only to find a bee buzzing around you, and it's always possible to be stung by an insect you just didn't see. Instead of avoiding the outdoors, and instead of living with the fear of encountering an insect, get the shots done.
Insect sting allergies are not something you outgrow. It is possible that if you go years without another sting, the next time you do are stung, you might not have a reaction, but according to ABC News, you still have a 20 percent chance of a reaction "many years" later. What's worse is that the chances of that reaction being just as severe as your previous reaction are good; PennLive.com notes that in a Johns Hopkins study, 60 percent of the test group of allergic individuals had a same or worse reaction to an additional sting. PennLive.com notes in the same article that getting immunotherapy shots for insect stings can reduce this 60 percent chance to only 1 to 2 percent.
An Excellent Chance of Success
Another reason to get the shot is that the success rate is stunningly good. Cleveland.com notes the success rate for immunotherapy shots for insect stings is 95 percent. So by undergoing the series of shots, you can reduce your chances of having another severe reaction down to nearly nothing with a high rate of confidence. You will still have to carry emergency medication with you -- just in case you're in that small percent that doesn't see success -- but you can go outside with a lot more confidence and a good feeling of security and health.
If you want to learn more about these allergy shots, contact your allergist and find out who offers the shots in your area. You will need to get a series of shots over time, but these shots are going to be a lot easier to handle compared to a severe insect sting allergy.
For immunotherapy treatments, contact a company such as Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Wyoming LLC.