Controlled Stinging Insect Allergy Testing: What It Is And Why It Is A Better Way To Discover Your Allergies

Health & Medical Blog

Stinging insects, including bees, wasps, scorpions, and certain types of ants, can cause an allergic reaction in some people. The reaction can be very mild and localized to the spot where the insect stung you, to very life-threatening. If you are not aware that you are allergic to any of these insects, then making that discovery when you are very far away from medical help could be deadly. Instead, you could get tested for these allergies in a controlled setting inside a hospital. Here is how the process works and why it is the better option for discovering that you have a stinging insect allergy.

Injecting Venom is Part of the Controlled Test

All of the stinging insects use a venom that is unique to their species. To test you, you would enter the hospital on an in-patient visit. Your doctor or allergist, like those at Oak Brook Allergists,would have several needles filled with different venoms, in very small quantities. Taking each syringe in hand, your doctor would inject venom under the skin and wait. The shots of venom would only continue as long as you do not have an allergic reaction. If you are allergic, you would have an almost immediate reaction to the most recently injected venom. Because you are performing the test under a controlled environment and situation, your doctor can administer a counter-active agent for the venom to which you are allergic, usually in the form of an epi-pen. 

What Happens When You Do Not Complete the Test after a Reaction

Usually, once you have a reaction and your doctor administers the epi-pen, the test is over for now. No more venoms can be tested because the counteractive agent would prevent your body from showing an allergic reaction. Your doctor will reschedule and resume the remaining tests for another day after the medicine from the epi-pen has had time to wear off and leave your system. In the meantime, you now know which of these stinging insects you are allergic to, and your doctor will prescribe a single dose-emergency epi-pen in case you are ever stung by the identified insect allergy. 

Why This Is a Better Way to Discover Your Allergies

Your doctor will have you return as often as needed until the tests are complete, and you have determined exactly which stinging insects you should be worried about. In the event that you have a very violent reaction to a particular venom, you are in a hospital where you can receive emergency care. This makes these controlled studies a far better way to discover that you have an allergy, because emergency care for anaphylactic shock or a blackout is right there where you need it.


1 June 2016

Take Your Health Into Your Own Hands

My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.