Bee Stings And Allergic Reactions: How To Tell If You Are Allergic Based On The Reaction

Most people go their entire lives without ever being stung by a bee. They do not know if they would have an allergic reaction or not. If you fall into this group of people, and you are suddenly stung by a bee (or a member of the bee family), here is how to tell if you are allergic based upon the severity of the reaction.

The Stung Area Puffs up and Turns Red

This is a completely normal reaction. The bee venom does this to everyone. You only have to worry if the area puffs up really huge and causes more than just the sting spot to swell. Then you have a different sort of problem known as a "localized reaction."

You Have a Localized Reaction

A localized reaction does not cause the rest of your body to react to the bee sting. Instead, it is just the body part closest to or surrounding the sting that swells up significantly. More often than not, this is not a problem because the body part that was stung was a finger, hand, arm, leg, foot, or toe. A localized reaction can be reduced by taking an oral antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, both of which will reduce the swelling of the localized allergic reaction.

You Have a Systemic Reaction

A systemic reaction to a bee sting causes your whole body to respond to the bee venom. Your throat closes up, you cannot breathe, more than one part of your body swells up, and/or you go into anaphylactic shock. This is the most serious reaction to the bee venom you can have, and you will need to go to the emergency room to be treated. If the severity of the reaction is exceedingly high, the result is imminent death after only a few minutes.

Once You Are Diagnosed

Once you are diagnosed following a bee sting allergic reaction, your doctor may prescribe medication or an EpiPen to treat any future episodes and run-ins with bees. Most minor or localized reactions can be treated with an over-the-counter medication. Your doctor may still prescribe a prescription anti-histamine.

If your allergic reaction was life-threatening, then your doctor may also prescribe an EpiPen, which delivers a shot of epinephrine into your system. The epinephrine elevates adrenaline which stops the allergic reaction in its tracks. You will have to carry this EpiPen your person at all times, and especially in the warmer months when bees are active.

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