Bee Sting – Symptoms of Allergic Reactions

All bee stings result in allergic reaction. It depends on the individual how serious this reaction can be. When a bee stings you, the stinger gets lodged into the skin, and the bee cannot remove it by using its own strength. The bee has no choice but to pull away, dismembering part of its own abdomen in the process. After the bee and its stinger have been separated, the stinger continues to pulsate, emitting more venom into the bloodstream. This is why it’s important to scrape, not pull, the stinger out.

If you have been stung by a bee, it’s important to remove the stinger by scraping it out immediately. Since allergic reactions vary from person to person, and even in the same person the reaction can vary from each sting, it’s wise to make sure there is someone with you. This person can help you get the help you need if the allergic reaction becomes severe. In the event of a severe allergic reaction, get to a hospital or other medical facility right away.

There are differences in the severity of reaction to bee stings. The most common, or local reactions, induces pain, swelling, itching and redness. It’s a common misconception that if you experience swelling from a bee sting, or a large amount of redness, that these are signs of a severe allergic reaction. This is actually opposite of the truth. A delayed reaction to a bee sting is much more of a cause for concern than an immediate one. Some allergic reactions are life-threatening.

The symptoms of a severe allergic reaction begin with dry cough, shortness of breath, hives that itch, and wheezing. These symptoms can be a sign of more dangerous symptoms to come, so if you experience these types of symptoms following a bee sting, seek medical help immediately. Anaphylaxis is a more serious condition, and is often experienced following the symptoms mentioned above. Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include sudden weakness, loss of breath, chest tightness, and unconsciousness that can lead to death.

Bee stings can be treated several ways, depending on the severity of the reaction. If you experience a serious reaction, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. The treatment for bee stings is usually an injection of epinephrine, which will help stimulate the heart and help clear and relax airways. An additional injection of antihistamine is sometimes needed. This counteracts with your bodies natural production of histamine and helps ease the symptoms of the reaction. Individuals with severe allergic reactions to bee stings are sometimes advised to carry a self-injection kit, for emergency treatment.

Individuals with severe allergic reactions to bee stings may undergo a desensitization program. The patient is injected with various amounts of bee venom, steadily increasing the dose each time, until their immune system can handle it. This can take quite some time, about 15 to 20 weeks, and are usually followed by monthly booster shots.

If you are worried about being stung by bees, or you’ve experienced allergic reactions before, it’s important to avoid contact with bees if at all possible. Don’t wear cologne or perfume outside, don’t wear bright clothing out in the sun, and if approached by a bee, don’t swat at it. This can aggravate the bee and increases your chances of being stung. If a bee is near you, simply move away. Bees aren’t out to get you, and only sting if they feel threatened, so it’s unlikely that the bee will continue to pester you.

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