Individuals who have been stung by a flying insect and have developed symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, throat closure, or systemic swelling know how terrifying it can be to be around flying insects. One never knows when anaphylaxis will occur after being stung. This is why allergists encourage individuals who are at risk of anaphylaxis after being stung by a flying insect start a treatment called venom immunotherapy.
Venom immunotherapy is indicated for individuals who have a history of anaphylaxis after a bee sting and have tested positive to venom testing in a clinical setting. It consists of being injected with the venom you are allergic to. After a gradual incremental dosing of the venom the memory antibody binds to the venom before it can reach the antibody that causes anaphylactic symptoms. This treatment can take 4 or more years. However if you are stung, the chance of anaphylaxis is less than 3% in most cases.
What do you need to do to start venom immunotherapy? The first step is to contact an allergist and make an appointment. The allergist will ask you to provide a detailed history of your past experiences with flying insects. He or she may then decide to test you to venom. Then the physician will discuss the different treatment options that are right for you and your situation.
If you have additional questions about venom immunotherapy please call Rocky Mountain Allergy at 801-775-9800.
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