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Old 05-21-2010, 04:14 PM   #1
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Hornet/Wasp allergy?

Hi all! Short question for you...

I was stung and bitten by either a wasp or a hornet last Saturday. There was an obvious immediate reaction which ultimately led to a noticeable amount of swelling that covered 1/3 of my forearm. Even now, nearly one week later (6 days), the swelling has receded, but is still present (size is reduced to about 6 square inches).

Is this normal for a hornet/wasp sting, or would you say I'm allergic?

 
Old 05-21-2010, 05:40 PM   #2
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Re: Hornet/Wasp allergy?

Most likely allergic. At this time, there isn't much point in treatment but you could take some bendryl, use some cortisone cream and ice it. If it happens again, take benedryl immediately and ice.

 
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:06 PM   #3
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Re: Hornet/Wasp allergy?

Thanks for the advice! I guess I'm mostly worried because I'm nervous that:

1. This could indicate a related, and severe, allergy. Is this possible?
2. If I get stung again, the reaction might be much more severe. Is this possible?

My knowledge of allergies is very limited, but I thought I'd ask some experts for your opinions!

Thanks,
-Rich

 
Old 05-21-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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Re: Hornet/Wasp allergy?

I'd see a doctor, because in some people, they have a forst reaction like yours, then the next time they are stung, they can have an anaphylactic reaction. These people need to carry adrenalin with them at all times.

It would be a good idea to always carry an antihistamine tablet in your wallet etc, so you can swallow it right away if you get stung. Benadryl 50mg is a good strong antihistamine, Zyrtec is also a good one, and works quickly

 
Old 05-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #5
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Re: Hornet/Wasp allergy?

Absolutely, if you get stung again take Benadryl immediately, and seek medical attention if it starts to swell like crazy again. However, these reactions don't always get worse. I have a comforting story:

At 15 I had a sting that led to a reaction like yours--I was stung on the web between two fingers and most of my hand and half my forearm swelling. At 24 I was out hiking and got stung on my ankle. I (stupidly) didn't have ANY allergy medicine with me, and we were about 2 miles off this little county road into deep wilderness. I was afraid my foot would swell and I'd be in real trouble, but all that happened was I got a normal bee sting welt, an inch or two across.

Maybe it was a different species of insect, maybe I actually lost that allergy. Still, I always carry Benadryl in my pocketbook just in case I run into something that makes me swell up.

 
Old 06-12-2010, 12:45 PM   #6
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Re: Hornet/Wasp allergy?

I'd like to know how you're feeling now (June 12).... did the swelling go away yet?

Hope you are doing well.

Last edited by kindnessmatters; 06-12-2010 at 12:46 PM.

 
Old 06-13-2010, 02:50 PM   #7
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Re: Hornet/Wasp allergy?

Since I'm allergic to bees(yellow jackets) and have had an anaphylactic reaction, I'd thought I'd add a couple of things.

It's not just a local reaction you have to watch for. Some people will have an systemic reaction and that is when you need immediate medical care. If you feel like your throat is closing or you start to wheeze and getting air in and out is hard, seek medical attention ASAP. But there is another reaction that may surprise you that is worse.....feeling faint. Anaphylaxis can cause your blood pressure to drop...badly...making you very light headed. Call an ambulance. This is when, if you carry an emergency adrenaline pen, you use it ASAP. Then call the ambulance.

This happened to me with the first allergic reaction and I didn't know. I just laid down and slept. But then I saw my primary doc the next day and my BP was low...very low...and I have high blood pressure. This was 24 hours after the sting. I learned my lesson and now have my injectors all ready.

But there is good news with bees. Most people lose their allergy to bees at a rate of 5-20% per year so after as little as 5 years with no stings, you have to be stung to sensitize yourself and then the next sting could be a problem. An allergist can test you to see just how much you've lost. My last test showed I had lost all allergic sensitivity to bees after 5 years....so I went out and got stung by a whole bunch of them shortly thereafter, pulling up weeds in my garden....pulled up an underground nest. It was a different type of yellow jacket but still.....I am so stupid!!!!!!!!!!

So watch for that faint feeling and if you have access to one, take your blood pressure. Know what it usually is(normal 120/80) and see if it is lower(like 90/60). Or if you wheeze and can't catch your breath or your throat feels tight....go get care.....it's better to go to the ER and be told you are okay then to wait and see and die.

Bee good!

Jenny(waving at the bees flying around my yard)

 
Old 09-30-2010, 12:53 PM   #8
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Re: Hornet/Wasp allergy?

Hi guys!

Thanks for your responses!

The swelling went away in about a week. It was pretty bad and had me a little worried...Maybe I SHOULD carry around a benadryl...? Any suggestions on how to do this? (I'm a guy that doesn't use a wallet - just a money clip...)

-Rich

 
Old 09-30-2010, 03:45 PM   #9
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Re: Hornet/Wasp allergy?

Well, it comes in blister packs, so maybe you can carry one in your pocket/car glove compartment/briefcase?

 
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