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If you are one of the lucky people who has never been stung by a bee, but you're now moving into an area where bee stings are a risk, you might be worried about how you'd react if you end up with a sting. This is a legitimate worry; bee sting allergies can be severe. But you do often get a reprieve on your first sting, which gives you time to take action.
The First Sting Is Often Uneventful
For most people, the very first time they are stung by a bee won't result in a major allergic reaction. There are a rare few who will have to deal with a strong allergic reaction the first time they are stung, but usually the reaction to the first sting is pretty normal (though a normal reaction is still painful). This is because your body is not used to seeing bee venom and has not yet developed automatic defenses against it. However, once you've had that first sting, your risk of developing a severe allergy to bees increases greatly.
Test After the First Sting
After you have been stung for the first time, go to your doctor or allergist and get tested for a bee sting allergy. It's not usually worthwhile do this if you've never been stung. The first time your body has to deal with bee venom is usually when your body becomes sensitized to it, if you're going to develop an allergy. So if you've been stung, your body has had a chance to decide whether it will tolerate bee venom or not, and you can get tested to see if your body has decided not to tolerate it.
The problem with getting tested before you've been stung at all that is the test itself might not show that you are allergic because you haven't yet been sensitized (ABC News notes that a test would just show if you had a strong negative reaction). But after the test, your body can then decide to react badly to future stings. So you'll be at severe risk for an allergic reaction but not realize it because of the initial test result. That could be deadly.
Future Stings Can Still Tip You Over
The really bad news is that you could do everything perfectly -- first sting, no reaction, but you go to get tested; the test shows you're not allergic, so you carry on without worry -- and then later develop an allergy after several stings. If you live or work in an area where bee stings are a risk, you may want to ask your allergist about protecting yourself from future stings.
Talk to your allergist about how to handle this situation. If you live near bee-heavy areas, or if you have a hobby like bee-keeping, you need to be aware of how being stung can affect you. For more information on bee sting allergies and allergy testing, check out websites like http://www.oakbrookallergists.com.Share
10 October 2016