Bee Allergies: What To Do Before You Get Stung
By : Hannah Whittenly
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, around five percent of the population suffers from insect allergies. Allergic reactions can take place whenever you have any contact with certain insects, but bee stings are especially painful. In some cases, a single sting can actually be fatal if it remains untreated. Here is a look at some tips for preventing stings and what you can do if you or a loved one has recently been stung.
Schedule an Allergy Test
If there is even a small chance that you might be allergic to bees, then you should schedule an appointment with an allergist. Medical specialists, like those at Oak Brook Allergists, have access to a number of different tools that can test patients for practically any allergy imaginable. The first test that will be administered is the skin test, but you might need to have a blood test as well if the previous tests were inconclusive.
Even if you do everything in your power to prepare yourself for an allergic reaction, accidents can happen at any time. Many allergists tell their patients to begin protecting themselves by altering their environment. This is the process of limiting the chance you will be exposed to any allergic substances. As for insects, you should have your home and place of business sprayed by an exterminator at least once a year.
Anyone who has tested positive for a severe insect allergy should speak with their allergist about immunotherapy. Much like flu shots, immunotherapy helps you build a tolerance to an allergen by regularly getting injected with small doses. Immunotherapy typically requires weekly shots of pure venom. Eventually, your body should begin producing antibodies that will prevent you from going into shock after a bee sting.
No matter what type of treatment you have decided on, you should always be ready for an emergency. An anaphylactic attack takes place when your body goes into a state of shock from one or more bee stings. Anyone who has been diagnosed with a bee allergy should have epinephrine (adrenaline) with them at all times. These are small pens with a concentrated dose of adrenaline that will open your airways and prevent you from going into shock.
A bee allergy is not something that should be taken lightly. Anyone who might be allergic to bee stings should immediately schedule an appointment with a nearby allergist to discuss their treatment options.