When you get stung by a bee or a wasp, the typical reaction is for a slight red bump and some irritation. However, that’s not true for everyone. Some people have allergies to bees and wasps, which can mean that they have a more severe reaction to being stung. But, how do insect allergies get started?

What Is an Allergy?

An allergy is a reaction to a foreign substance that has been introduced to your body. It happens through exposure. For example, with a bee sting allergy, a person has to be stung at least once before their body develops the histamine reaction to the bee sting. The body can start to react after just one sting. However, a person can start to develop an allergy to bees or wasps after having many normal reactions to stings. 

What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction?

Since the allergy can range from very mild to extremely severe, there are several signs. 

  • Redness: The normal reaction includes some redness, but will generally fade in a few hours. With an allergic reaction, the redness can last for a few days.
  • Swelling: Swelling of the affected area can also be a sign of an allergic reaction. The swelling is in more than just the localized area where the sting was, it can include most of the affected limb, such as if the sting happens on the foot,both  the foot and lower leg would be swollen. 
  • Itching: Histamine also causes your body to itch. As the histamine reacts to the allergen from the bee sting, it causes your body to itch. The itching can spread up past the sting. 
  • Difficulty in Breathing: The more severe the allergy, the more severe the signs. One of them is that it starts to be difficult to breathe. The tongue and airway will swell up, which will make it hard to breathe. This reaction can be deadly if not handled correctly. 

What Are Some Treatments For Sting Allergies?

For a mild allergic reaction, an over-the-counter antihistamine generally can control the reaction. If you do have a mild allergic reaction, apart from treatment, you should also be aware that any sting you get will cause your allergic reaction to get more severe. If your allergy worsens, you may want to speak to your doctor about getting an epinephrine injector that you can keep with you to counteract any reaction until you can get in to get help.

Anyone can end up with a bee or wasp allergy, since it develops through exposure. Knowing some of the signs and treatments for an allergy can help you if you are one of the people who do develop an allergy. Visit a website, like http://www.oakbrookallergists.com, for more information.