If you are allergic to stinging insects, like bees, wasps and hornets, enjoying a summer's day outdoors can be a challenge. While you likely know the signs, it's a good idea that everyone be familiar with the indications of a bee sting allergic reaction, so they can get help for you or someone suffering from such a situation quickly and efficiently.
It's also important to note that people who have had a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting in the past have a 30 to 60 percent chance of having a repeat reaction if they are stung again. Of course, multiple stings, as with a swarm of bees, exacerbates the reaction. Multiple stings is always a reason to call for medical assistance.
What a bee sting allergic reaction looks like
1. Pain and swelling. Pain and swelling are common with bee stings. The severity of an allergic reaction is indicated by how large and widespread the swelling is. Even a little swelling in someone with a history of allergic reactions to bee stings should be evaluated by medical personnel.
2. Itching and hives. Another common reaction to bee stings, these can be localized or spread over a section of the body or even the entire body.
3. Dizziness. Dizziness and fainting are other symptoms that often accompany a bee sting allergic reaction.
4. Difficulty breathing. This is the sign of a severe reaction, usually caused by swelling in the tongue, throat and neck, and can be life threatening.
5. Nausea and stomach cramps. Feeling sick to one's stomach can also often accompany a bee sting in someone who is allergic.
Preventing a bee sting
While there's no way to guarantee that you won't get stung by a bee or wasp, there are several things you can do to help reduce the risk. Among these are wearing closed-toe shoes when walking outdoors, avoiding wearing sweet-smelling perfumes or other body products when outdoors, not drinking from open soda or beer cans (as these can attract bees) and using air conditioning at home and in the car rather than opening window.
If you or someone you are with experiences any of the signs of an allergic reactions, quick action is important. Use an epinephrine injection pen if the person has one available and then call 911. Even if the injection appears to be working, it's still important for the person to be checked at a hospital. Talk to an allergist, like Oak Brook Allergists, for more advice.