Bee Sting Allergies- Symptoms and Treatment

Bee Sting Allergies- Symptoms and Treatment

Bee Sting

Beyond Urgent Care operates in Bethel, New Milford, and North Haven to provide you with quality health care and affordable treatment. Our trained and professional physicians are able to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. At our walk-in, wait-free clinics, we can help you treat minor to moderate bee stings.

Have you recently been stung by a bee, but your symptoms aren't settling down? Bee stings are normally very painful due to the injection of venom, but your condition shouldn't worsen. If it is, you could possibly be allergic to bee stings or you are experiencing a moderate reaction.

Who is More at Risk for a Bee Sting?

Depending on the person, some people are more prone to bee stings. Factors could be:

  • Living in an area will active beehives / where bees actively pollinate
  • Spending time outside
  • Having a previous allergic reaction to a bee sting
  • Certain medications like beta-blockers

If you are allergic to bee, wasp or yellow jacket venom, then you should carry a bee sting kit with you. This kit contains a medication called epinephrine that can help treat anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)

Keep in mind that this kit should not take the place of a medical examiner, you should still be treated if you have had a serious allergic reaction.

Type of Reactions to Bee Stings

People’s reactions differ when it comes to bee stings, they can be either mild, moderate or a severe allergic reactions.

Poison Ivy

Mild Reaction

  • Pain or itching on area
  • White spot where stinger broke the skin
  • Swelling

A mild reaction will only last a few hours, but avoid scratching or irritating the area.

Moderate Reaction

  • Intense redness that will not subside
  • Swelling of area that enlarges over time
A moderate reaction can last around five to ten days. Some people will experience a moderate reaction every time they are stung but it does not necessarily mean that it can happen again or that you will have a severe allergic reaction.

Severe Allergic Reaction

  • Hives / flushed or pale skin
  • Swelling of the face, throat, mouth or lips
  • Difficulty breathing / wheezing
  • Itching, cramping, or numbness
  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Weak and fast pulse
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps

Having a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting can be life-threatening and can potentially lead to immediate medical treatment.

There is a 30-60 percent change of experiencing anaphylaxis the next time someone is stung. If you have already consulted with a doctor, you may have been prescribed an emergency auto-injector (EpiPen) that you should use as instructed by your doctor.

Multiple Bee Stings

Multiple bee stings tend to be more serious in children than adults, for children’s bodies can only handle so much bee venom. The act of being stung multiple times can induce a toxic reaction that will make you feel sick.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Headache, Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Vertigo
  • Convulsions, fever or fainting
Multiple bee stings can be a medical emergency for everyone including children, older adults and those who have breathing problems. If the symptoms begin to progress or worsens, you should seek medical help.

Ways to Diagnose a Bee Allergy

If you have had an intense reaction to bee stings there is a chance that you could be allergic to bee stings.

There are two types of tests that your doctor may suggest, a skin test or an allergy blood test.

Skin test:This type of test shows visible results because you are injected with venom. If you are allergic, your skin will start to form a raised bump with redness, irritation or swelling.

Allergy blood test: This type of test will measure your immune system’s response to bee venom. If you are allergic to the venom, your body may produce an antibody because you are hypersensitive to it. This type of antibody is an immunoglobulin E (IgE) protein, and high levels in your body can reveal an allergy. You may also take a radioallergosorbent test (RAST) that can determine the amount of IgE antibodies in your blood.

Either way, your physician or doctor will send your sample of blood off to a lab that will take a few days to return. Here is where it will be tested further to determine any possible allergens.

Results For Allergy Tests

If your skin or blood results come back negative, you are not allergic to the venom. If your test results are possible, then you are allergic and should work with your doctor or physician to learn about prevention and treatment. You may take other tests to dismiss any other conditions. You may be prescribed treatments for Medication, Immunotherapy, or an Epinephrine Shot.

Treating a Bee Sting

Less severe reaction

If you have been stung by a bee, you should immediately remove the stinger. The venom will be released into your body for a few seconds after. If you have any sort of reaction, you can put an ice pack on the area to reduce swelling. If you are experiencing any pain, you can take an aspirin or acetaminophen, but do not give aspirin to a child who has been stung.

Emergency Treatment

If you are having an anaphylactic attack, an emergency medical team may need to preform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on you in the event that your heart stops or that you are not breathing.

If you have been prescribed an auto-injector (epinephrine shot) carry this with you at all times. If you start to have symptoms of an attack, take the shot immediately. Even if you aren't experiencing an attack, you won’t have any bad reaction to the medicine.

Prevention

There are a few ways that you can prevent a bee sting. You can carry the bee-sting kit with you, and you can also wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace that describes your allergy.

You can lower the chance of a bee sting by not wearing any brightly colored, white or pastel clothing. Do not use any perfumes with a floral scent that may attract a bee.

Our Beyond Urgent Care clinics in Bethel, New Milford, and North Haven can assist you with mild to moderate bee stings. We can also discuss with you any prevention techniques or answer any general questions. We are dedicated to providing you with expert physicians and quality medical care.