ZocdocAnswersHow can I find out if I'm allergic to bees?

Question

How can I find out if I'm allergic to bees?

Is there a test I can take before I go camping? I guess it's stupid but I have been worried about this .

Answer

It is a very common concern to consider whether or not you are allergic to bee stings. Unfortunately, there is no great way for most patients to find out if they are allergic, and so the only way that people ever discover that they are allergic is by being stung. The reason that there is no great test is that it would require subjecting large numbers of people to a procedure that could potentially be very dangerous (if they actually had a reaction to the venom), with only a very small number of people able to be correctly identified. The real significant risk with any sort of sting is the potential for allergic anaphylaxis. This is a severe reaction that occurs because of a wide release of chemicals that happens in response to the sting, and one of the most serious effects is an inability to breathe. The immediate treatment is an injection of epinephrine, which can be accomplished with an epi-pen. If you have other allergies or a family history of serious allergic reactions, speaking with your doctor about your concerns is a good idea. Please speak with your doctor as needed, and always hurry to get medical help if necessary.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.