Bee and other insect stings are a common cause of anaphylaxis. If you've had a serious reaction to a bee sting but did not seek emergency treatment, consult your doctor. He or she may refer you to an allergy specialist (allergist) who can determine whether you're allergic to bee or other insect venom and can help you find ways to prevent future allergic reactions.
Your doctor or allergist will do a thorough physical examination and will want to know:
- When and where you were stung
- What symptoms you had after getting stung
- Whether you've had an allergic reaction to an insect sting in the past, even if it was minor
- Whether you have other allergies, such as hay fever
- What medications you take, including herbal remedies
- Any health problems you have
Some questions you might want to ask your doctor include:
- What do I do if I get stung again?
- If I have an allergic reaction, do I need to use emergency medication such as an epinephrine autoinjector (EpiPen, Twinject)?
- How can I prevent this reaction from happening again?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions, as well.
Feb. 07, 2014
- Freeman T. Bee, yellowjacket, wasp and hymenoptera stings: Reaction types and acute management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Stinging insect allergy: Tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/stinging-insect-allergy.aspx. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Skin emergencies. National Center for Farmworker Health. http://www.ncfh.org/pdfs/BilingualEd/PDF9.pdf. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- What to do in a medical emergency: Bites and stings. American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation. http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=210#spider_bites_and_scorpion_stings. Accessed July 4, 2013.
- Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=40. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Tracy JM. Diagnosis of hymenoptera venom allergy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Bee stings: Safety. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/docs.htm?docid=11067&page=1. Accessed July 5, 2013.
- Simons FER. Anaphylaxis. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2010;125:S161.
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