A bee sting can be unpleasant, and in many instances, the sting will leave you with pain and swelling at the site that goes away in a few hours. For others, a bee sting triggers an allergic reaction that can be serious or, worse, life-threatening. If you’ve never been stung by a bee before, you may have no idea that you are allergic to its sting. After a bee sting, the reaction that follows can indicate whether or not you are allergic. 

AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale can help remove any stinger and provide aid for bites. If you or a loved one begin showing symptoms of anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately. AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale can provide urgent treatment, whereas the emergency room is designed for more severe, life-threatening conditions. 

Potential Allergic Reactions to Bee Stings

The most concerning symptoms of bee stings to keep an eye out for includes:

  • Itching over your body
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling not just at the sting site but covering a large portion of your body, including the face, throat, or tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Crampy stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea

When to Seek Medical Attention

A bee sting can leave you with a mild reaction, or it may cause a serious reaction if you are allergic to the toxin injected into your skin. A doctor’s visit is not required in most bee sting cases, but in severe cases, immediate care is needed. Seek medical attention if:

  • Experience severe reaction that suggests anaphylaxis
  • Attacked by a swarm of bees and received multiple stings
  • Symptoms of bee sting persist after a couple of days
  • Experience additional signs that indicate an allergic response to a bee sting
  • Have weak pulse
  • Sting inside mouth or throat
  • Anaphylactic shock (life-threatening swelling of the throat and tongue)

Ways to Lower the Risk or Prevent Bee Stings

Bee stings are preventable in many cases, and with a few valuable tips, you can minimize your risk of getting stung by bees. Put these measures into practice:

  • Don’t wear sandals or go walk barefoot on grass
  • Avoid swatting or running from bees, and instead, brush them away gently or give them time to fly away on their own
  • Keep outdoor garbage tightly covered
  • Wear gloves, socks, and shoes when working outdoors and long pants and long-sleeved shirts when doing other outdoor activities
  • Fit screens to doors and windows
  • Avoid wearing sweet-smelling colognes and perfumes
  • Close vehicle windows when unoccupied

Talk to your doctor about carrying adrenaline shots if you’re allergic to bee stings, and ask about allergy shots or immunotherapy to minimize the chance of getting a severe reaction. If you get stung, treat immediately and observe symptoms. Best of all, do what is necessary to prevent bee stings in the first place.