Being Prepared if You or Your Loved One is Allergic to Bee Stings
A certain species of bees (belonging to the Hymenoptera order) are more likely to cause anaphylaxis in humans. If you have discovered that you are allergic to bee stings, prepare to stay safe while you enjoy the summer outdoors.
Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction to a food, insect or other substance once it enters the body. The effects are usually felt almost immediately. They can be life threatening if treatment is not administered right away.
For those who are allergic to bees, you may find that anaphylaxis occurs even if you have been stung before with no adverse effects. The venom of the bee enters the body and causes a severe allergic reaction.
Those who are allergic may experience:
* Swelling of the tongue and throat
* Labored breathing
* Nausea and vomiting
After you have been exposed to a bee sting leading to a bout of anaphylaxis, your doctor will more than likely prescribe an epi-pen. This is an injector pencil that delivers a dose of epinephrine into the system to reopen the blood vessels and the airway. Epinephrine, or adrenalin, is found naturally in the body. It dilates blood vessels.
An immediate shot can provide enough relief to get medical attention. One thing to remember is that one epi-pen dose can wear off and the anaphylaxis begins again if the venom is still present. That is another reason why it is important to seek medical attention right away.
Preparing for a Summer Full of Bees
Don’t let your allergy to bees keep you from getting out and about in the summer sun. You can still live your life the way that you want by taking a few precautions.
One main precaution is to ask your allergist about immunotherapy. This consists of allergy shots to help boost your protection against any future stings. The more medicine that is in your system, the more you are protected. This doesn’t mean that you ignore a sting, but it gives you more time and control over the situation.
Here are some items to carry with you for first-line protection.
* Epinephrine auto-injector (epi-pen) – Your doctor has probably prescribed an epi-pen. They may even give you two. A second dose may be needed if it takes you longer than 30 minutes to reach medical attention. When one wears off the anaphylaxis may return. Carry them with you always in a cool, dry place. Check expiration dates to get a fresh refill if yours has expired.
* Use antihistamines – This can cut down on the amount of histamine released by the body. Histamine leads to the rash, itching and redness that are exhibited at the sting site.
* Salt or a credit card – Certain bees leave the stinger in the skin. This continues to release venom into your system. Using salt as a rub or a credit card, scrape over the surface of the sting area to remove the stinger.
* Cold packs – These reduce the pain and spread of venom so you can get help.
Those who are allergic to bee stings need to take precautions when spending time outside. This doesn’t mean that you have to stay indoors, as long as you are protected.