Spending time outdoors during the warm summer months means that you will likely cross paths with a bee. Being stung by a bee can be a painful and unpleasant experience for most people, but for some individuals the sting could be deadly.
Here are three things that you need to know about bee sting allergies in order to ensure that you are protected in the future.
1. If it's your first sting, check your body for hives.
If you experience a bee sting for the first time, it's essential that you take the time to check your body for hives. While most people who are stung will experienced a localized reaction to the venom in the bee's stinger (redness, swelling, pain, etc.), individuals who are at risk of experiencing severe allergic reactions in the future will develop hives all over their body when stung by their first bee.
2. Deadly reactions to bee stings usually occur only after the first exposure.
In order for your body to develop a deadly allergy, it must first be exposed to the allergen. When an individual who will bear a serious allergy is stung by their first bee, production of specialized antibodies known as immunoglobulins occurs. These antibodies attach to the immune cells within the body, resulting in a massive response to repeated exposure to the initial allergen.
This means that while you might not go into anaphylactic shock after your first sting, there is a risk of experiencing this life-threatening response to future stings. Be sure that you have a sting treatment kit with you at all times to prevent anaphylactic shock from hindering your ability to breath.
3. Allergies to insect stings are rare.
While you may hear stories about people suffering from severe allergic reactions to bee stings, it's important to recognize that these serious allergic responses are rare. In fact, only an estimated 5% of the population is affected by life-threatening insect sting allergies, and a mere 40 people die from these allergies each year.
You shouldn't let your fear of an allergic response to a bee sting prevent you from enjoying the outdoors, but it's best to be prepared for any situation by keeping an insect sting kit on-hand at all times.
Understanding bee sting allergies more fully allows you to prepare for a potentially deadly allergic reaction should you get stung in the future. For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://www.oakbrookallergists.com.