Bees are busy
Most bees are busy and are not out to sting you. The biggest problem are wasps and yellow jackets. Wasps tend to be more aggressive than bees and will swarm after you and your food if you’re eating outdoors. They can sting several times because they don’t leave the stinger behind, whereas honey bees only sting once. But their sting can be dangerous.
What to look for if you are stung
The first time you are stung by a bee, you’ll probably have a normal reaction: pain, redness and swelling around the sting. But about two million Americans may become sensitized during that first sting, setting them up for a more severe reaction the next time they’re stung. If you experience a generalized hive-like rash, trouble breathing or a drop in blood pressure, you are at risk for a future, more intense reaction.
Sensitivity in children vs. adults
Children who develop hives or swelling after being stung are not typically tested for insect allergies because children who get hives don’t tend to progress to a more serious reaction. However, in adults, hives could progress to anaphylaxis if they’re stung again, so I recommend getting blood tested for allergies to insect venom. Anyone who has had an anaphylactic reaction, wheezing or see their blood pressure drop after a sting should be tested, so you can be more aware and take preventive steps.
When to seek medical attention
If you experience any of the following reactions, seek medical attention immediately. You’ll need to be treated with adrenaline (epinephrine).
- Hives, itching and swelling over large areas of the body
- Tightness in the chest and trouble breathing
- Swelling of the tongue
- Dizziness or fainting
- Drop in blood pressure
To get a simple allergy test for insect allergies, contact us today.