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Bee allergy & difficulty breathing


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#1 Futhermore

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:06 AM

So my daughter had a bee sting allergy test yesterday where they inject a minute amount of venom under the skin (equivalent to 1/10,000) of a bee sting.

The results were redness, pain and itching around the site, wheezing, coughing and dizzyness.  She now has an epi-pen.

She has only been stung once in all her 13 years, and that resulted in swelling, tightness in the chest and minor breathing difficulty that subsided without treatment.  (We were on a bushwalk - no assistance or treatment was available)

So my question is, does this mean if she actually got stung by a bee, would her reaction have been worse due to more venom, or is the reaction similiar regardless of dose?  Is this the type of allergy people will grow out of or is that only minor allergies?

My son also has large local reactions to bee stings, the second one much worse than the first (he has been stung twice but has not had an allergy test, we just talked about it in the course of my daughters appointment) but when I told the specialist I thought maybe it was because the sting wasn't removed quickly the second time he said it wouldn't have made that much of a difference.    Yet the test is with small amount of venom (presumably to make it safer) so I am confused as to whether dosage matters or not?  

I know it's probably not really relevent but I'm just curious.  Google hasn't helped, so I am hoping EB can.

Edited by ~maryanne~, 26 January 2013 - 08:08 AM.


#2 #tootired

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:26 AM

I can't really answer the question.

My DS1 is allergic to bees. His reaction to a sting has definately got worse each time.

I would deduce that the more venom = greater reaction, magnified also by the loss of immunity the more times stung.

Just guessing though, no scientific basis!

#3 Expelliarmus

Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

My anaphylactic reaction to aspirin gets worse each time. Can't tell you about bees but that's what happens with mine.

#4 Lolpigs

Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

QUOTE (~maryanne~ @ 26/01/2013, 09:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So my daughter had a bee sting allergy test yesterday where they inject a minute amount of venom under the skin (equivalent to 1/10,000) of a bee sting.

The results were redness, pain and itching around the site, wheezing, coughing and dizzyness.  She now has an epi-pen.

She has only been stung once in all her 13 years, and that resulted in swelling, tightness in the chest and minor breathing difficulty that subsided without treatment.  (We were on a bushwalk - no assistance or treatment was available)

So my question is, does this mean if she actually got stung by a bee, would her reaction have been worse due to more venom, or is the reaction similiar regardless of dose?  Is this the type of allergy people will grow out of or is that only minor allergies?

My son also has large local reactions to bee stings, the second one much worse than the first (he has been stung twice but has not had an allergy test, we just talked about it in the course of my daughters appointment) but when I told the specialist I thought maybe it was because the sting wasn't removed quickly the second time he said it wouldn't have made that much of a difference.    Yet the test is with small amount of venom (presumably to make it safer) so I am confused as to whether dosage matters or not?  

I know it's probably not really relevent but I'm just curious.  Google hasn't helped, so I am hoping EB can.


I have this allergy localised like your son. It will most likely be worse, the amount of venom the bees butt can inject before you can get the stinger out is quite alot. I suffer severe swelling to the point where the limb that is stung starts to die from the reaction and swelling. For example if I get stung on the toe, within a few hours I can no longer walk on that foot as it is so swollen and sore and it starts to travel up my leg.

Luckily my breathing is only affected if I am stung on the upper body near my chest or neck. I'm fairly dead if that happens though :\ My reactions are always more severe each time they occur. Not that means it is set in stone for your DD, but it is likely. They used to do a treatment where they would inject small amounts of venom to try and build resistance but I was never sold on it due to my ever increasing reactions. I don't know if they do it anymore?

She will need to avoid products made with Royal Jelly as they contain similar chemicals.

I would keep her away from wasps as well, as in all likelihood she will be allergic to them as well (like me), and they are NASTY, and will keep stinging her, where as a bee it is only once. I had a terrible experience with paper wasps as a kid.

Don't need to be paranoid, she just needs to be aware of what can hurt her I guess.

#5 Futhermore

Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

QUOTE (Lolpigs @ 26/01/2013, 09:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have this allergy localised like your son. It will most likely be worse, the amount of venom the bees butt can inject before you can get the stinger out is quite alot. I suffer severe swelling to the point where the limb that is stung starts to die from the reaction and swelling. For example if I get stung on the toe, within a few hours I can no longer walk on that foot as it is so swollen and sore and it starts to travel up my leg.

Luckily my breathing is only affected if I am stung on the upper body near my chest or neck. I'm fairly dead if that happens though :\ My reactions are always more severe each time they occur. Not that means it is set in stone for your DD, but it is likely. They used to do a treatment where they would inject small amounts of venom to try and build resistance but I was never sold on it due to my ever increasing reactions. I don't know if they do it anymore?

She will need to avoid products made with Royal Jelly as they contain similar chemicals.

I would keep her away from wasps as well, as in all likelihood she will be allergic to them as well (like me), and they are NASTY, and will keep stinging her, where as a bee it is only once. I had a terrible experience with paper wasps as a kid.

Don't need to be paranoid, she just needs to be aware of what can hurt her I guess.



The specialist actually made a point of saying the protein responsible for the allergy is different to that in wasps and ants so it's highly unlikely she will be allergic to either of them.  She has had wasp and ant stings before with no effect any way.  But I know two other people in my family allergic to both.  All just unlucky??

My son swells so severely he was last stung on the foot and swelled to his lower thigh and couldn't walk on it for over a week.  But like I said - the sting was left in for some time.  My confusion stems from the specialist saying that doesn't make much of a difference in people with large local reactions when I had always thought the opposite to be true, yet they use tiny doses in people with systemic reactions.  So I'm wondering if maybe the two are a completely different kettle of fish?

I hadn't thought what might happen if he was stung on the ear like my daughter was!

He did discuss how they can desensitise her to the stings but I will be doing more research on that before discussing it with her and seeing what she thinks.  I think she's old enough to have quite a lot of imput into the decision, (In fact, I think she should make the final decision on that alltogether - provided she takes the time to look at all the research, options and outcomes)

Edited by ~maryanne~, 26 January 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#6 Lolpigs

Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:40 PM

QUOTE (~maryanne~ @ 26/01/2013, 11:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The specialist actually made a point of saying the protein responsible for the allergy is different to that in wasps and ants so it's highly unlikely she will be allergic to either of them.  She has had wasp and ant stings before with no effect any way.  But I know two other people in my family allergic to both.  All just unlucky??

My son swells so severely he was last stung on the foot and swelled to his lower thigh and couldn't walk on it for over a week.  But like I said - the sting was left in for some time.  My confusion stems from the specialist saying that doesn't make much of a difference in people with large local reactions when I had always thought the opposite to be true, yet they use tiny doses in people with systemic reactions.  So I'm wondering if maybe the two are a completely different kettle of fish?

I hadn't thought what might happen if he was stung on the ear like my daughter was!

He did discuss how they can desensitise her to the stings but I will be doing more research on that before discussing it with her and seeing what she thinks.  I think she's old enough to have quite a lot of imput into the decision, (In fact, I think she should make the final decision on that alltogether - provided she takes the time to look at all the research, options and outcomes)


we must just be lucky then! original.gif

Yeah watch that reaction, shouldn't matter how long the sting is left in though, but sometimes it is hard to get it out.

Glad she is old enough to have imput. Yeah I think localised severe reaction and systemic reaction are different but they try to treat them a bit the same from what I've experienced too.

#7 anabh

Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:58 PM

Get him tested too. There is every chance the next will be worse for either of them. Did the allergist mention desensitisation? It has worked for my child and cost is minimal as it is considered a fatal allergy and govt PBS covered.




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