Bees and other stinging insects can give anyone a nasty shock when they strike, but for someone who has a bee sting allergy, the experience could be life-threatening. If you’re concerned about allergies to bee stings, the experts at South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group can help. They use the most up to date treatments to relieve your symptoms and help you avoid the problems bee stings can cause. Call one of their convenient locations in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and Redwood City, California, to find out more or book an appointment online.
Bee sting allergies are severe reactions to being stung by a bee. Bee stings contain venom, which causes pain, swelling, and redness where the insect stings you.
Bee stings typically respond well to ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications. Within a few hours, the pain should be easing off.
The honeybee is the bee most likely to sting you, with only a few bee stings delivered by other species like bumblebees. Bees aren’t the only stinging insects capable of causing severe allergic reactions – wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets, among others, also cause allergic responses in some people.
If you have a bee sting allergy, you might find you have a much more widespread reaction when you get stung. The pain, swelling, and redness spread far beyond the sting site and could be significantly more distressing. Swelling could be extensive, getting worse over the first few days and lasting for up to a week.
You might also experience a severe reaction to a bee sting that causes:
A red skin rash or hives that can appear all over your skin.
Angioedema is swelling of the skin that penetrates the underlying tissues and causes fluid buildup.
Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening extreme allergic reaction.
Anyone who has a severe reaction to a bee sting should get immediate medical help. Anaphylaxis from insect stings causes around 40 deaths each year in the United States.
The first action to take is to avoid bees as much as possible. That’s not going to completely rule out the risk of a bee sting, but taking sensible measures to reduce the likelihood of contact with bees is worthwhile.
If you get a bee sting that causes extensive swelling or pain, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help, or antihistamines. More severe reactions might require a prescription of corticosteroids. For hives, treatment with an antihistamine or injection of epinephrine can reduce the rash.
Autoinjectors containing epinephrine can be invaluable in treating anaphylaxis. If you know you have a severe allergy, you should carry an EpiPen® or TwinJect® wherever you go.
You should always have a checkup after anaphylaxis, even when you feel alright. You might need additional treatments like:
You should also visit South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group for evaluation. They can diagnose your venom allergy using skin testing and blood tests, combined with your medical history. They can also assess your suitability for venom immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy treatment involves having allergy shots regularly to reduce the severity of your bee sting allergy. It’s an extremely effective way of minimizing and very often curing your allergy.
Call South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group today to find out more or book an appointment online.