Out in the yard, you swat your hand at that tiny gnat flying around you. Those little bugs certainly can be annoying when you are outside trying to enjoy the beautiful summer weather, but did you know that these bugs can cause some real trouble for you if they bite?
For years, I always thought of gnats as simply annoying. For most people, this is the case, but for some people these little insects can be the cause of an allergic reaction. I was unaware of the fact that gnats bite humans. Common sense tells me they can, but I had simply never heard of the problem. Frequently, you hear stories of mosquito bites, spider bites, and bee stings. Until recently, I had not known anyone to suffer from a gnat bite.
A young child about five years old was gathering green beans from the garden with her mother. They were planning to take the green beans into the house to prepare them for supper when a large swarm of gnats began to surround the little girl. The gnats seemed to be attacking her. She ran to the house to escape the swarm. Her parents quickly reacted by placing her in the tub. The bath helped to get rid of the gnats.
It was too late. The young girl was bitten many times by gnats from head to toe. Her legs were especially bad. Covered in bug bites, she experienced itching. This symptom was expected by her parents. What happened next was rather surprising to the family. Severe swelling began around the areas where she was bitten by the gnats.
The five year old was having an allergic reaction to the gnat bites. She was rushed to the doctor where they gave her a shot to help reduce the swelling. The doctor prescribed the use of Benadryl medication by mouth, as well as in lotion form. The antihistamine medication would relieve the severity of the child’s reaction. Despite this effort, the itching and symptoms persisted for the next few days.
She was able to return to class the next day, but with instructions from the pediatrician to use the Benadryl. There were no long-term effects. Although the reaction was not as severe as one typically associated with a wasp or bee sting, the gnat bites can create a great deal of swelling at the site of the bite.
The treatment for an allergic reaction to gnat bites is antihistamine medications. Short-term steroid use may also be prescribed in conjunction with a medication such as Benadryl.
Prevention is the best medicine. Avoid areas where gnats may be lurking. This tiny bug that may seem to be merely annoying can really cause some trouble for someone with an allergy.