Unless you are allergic to bee venom, a bee sting is a minor injury that can usually be treated at home. A bee sting near the eye can be especially painful and a little alarming, but is rarely dangerous. There are easy strategies you can use to help the sting to heal more quickly and to relieve discomfort.
Removing the Stinger
Take the stinger out as soon as possible. There is some debate over how much care to use when removing a stinger and the best method for removal. According to beekeepers, removing the stinger as soon as possible is more important than the care with which you do so. To remove a stinger from the area around your eye, either pluck the stinger out with a pair of tweezers, brush it out with your fingers or use the edge of credit card to scrape the stinger out of the skin. If you are unable to do this, get help from someone.
Get relief from the bee sting as quickly as possible. The area around the eye is sensitive and more likely to swell and ache. Mix a paste of baking soda and water and dab some on the sting site. Apply a cold compress to your eye for 10 minutes to help prevent swelling. Take an antihistamine to help reduce your body’s reaction to the bee sting.
Continue applying ice to your eye at regular intervals as long as any swelling remains. You can continue to take an antihistamine to relieve itching at the site of the sting. You can also take ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling.
Keeping the Site Clean
Avoid an infection that could injure your eye by washing the site of the sting with mild soap and warm water. Also apply a small amount of disinfecting ointment to the sting. This will help prevent infection and may even help to speed healing.
When to See a Doctor
If you experience a severe reaction such as an outbreak of hives or difficulty breathing, seek emergency medical attention. Allergic reactions to bee stings are very serious and must be treated immediately 1. If you notice changes to your vision after the swelling around your eye begins to decline, make an appointment with your eye doctor just to be on the safe side.
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