Getting a bee sting is considered unpleasant for any individual but some can develop a severe allergic reaction to the sting which is called anaphylaxis. Individuals who are allergic to bee stings can suffer symptoms that are severe and life-threatening even from a minor sting. With this in mind, it is important that you know how to recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis so that you can take the appropriate action.
Even though some allergies can be considered as a plain nuisance, other allergic reactions can be dangerous. Anaphylaxis is a reaction of the whole body to an allergen. This can be caused by the venom in a bee sting or other insect bites as well as allergies to food, medications and other substances.
During anaphylaxis, the immune system releases chemicals that will trigger the allergy symptoms all over the body. Due to the severity of these symptoms, even a minor bee sting can be life-threatening if immediate first aid care is not provided right away.
Specific symptoms of anaphylaxis
If an individual develops anaphylaxis, there are various signs and symptoms. Take note that these symptoms typically affect different parts of the body at the same time.
- Swelling of the throat and face
- Itchy red-colored rash
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing
- Wheezing or hoarseness
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Chest tightness
During anaphylaxis, the tissues will release substances that can constrict the airways. This can lead to other additional symptoms such as slurred speech, paleness, nose or chest congestion, dizziness, abdominal pain, heart palpitations and abnormal sounds when breathing.
In most cases, the allergic symptoms to a bee sting can manifest quickly. The individual will feel the symptoms in a matter of minutes after being stung. These symptoms can manifest within seconds after a sting. It is possible that the symptoms will take time to appear. It can take 30 minutes or even longer to notice these symptoms.
Preventing the symptoms of an anaphylaxis to a bee sting
Since the symptoms of anaphylaxis can be severe or even life-threatening, it is best to avoid them. If an individual already experienced a serious allergic reaction to a bee sting, emergency medications must always be on hand. The doctor can prescribe an injectable epinephrine or a chewable medication known as diphenhydramine which is an antihistamine. It is recommended to bring a bee sting kit when going outdoors and a medical tag must be used so that others will know about the condition.
When to call for help
If a family member experiences any of the symptoms after sustaining a bee sting, it is important to call for emergency assistance immediately. Once the individual shows signs of anaphylaxis, you have to stay calm. Remove the stinger of the bee from the sting site. Avoid squeezing the stinger since it can inject more venom into the body. In order to prevent shock while waiting for the medical team to arrive, position the individual flat on the ground. Elevate the feet about a foot off the ground.