World of Honey

bee stung eye

How To Treat A Bee Sting Near The Eye

I received a painful bee sting to the lower eyelid. I was creating a split from one of my thriving colonies when a guard bee flew up and landed beneath my glasses. Before I could remove my glasses the bee stung me right on the edge of my lower eyelid. I went inside and removed the stinger from the lower lid.

The pain of being stung in, on, or around the eye is incredible! The problem is that the bees venom contains a compound that helps to spread the toxins into the surrounding tissues. This means that the toxins move not only into the site of the sting, but they also quickly moved to my upper cheek, upper eyelid, and the eyeball itself. I started to worry that this could result in permanent loss of visual acuity. So I began to do a little research. I found that there are very few documented cases of permanent damage from a sting to the eye. In fact, some cases of damage to the optic nerve or retina have been reported, but most of these were caused by stings to the head rather than the eye itself.

So how do you treat a bee or wasp sting to the eye? The best recommendations are to try to reduce the swelling. This is usually accomplished by the administration of an antihistamine or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Remove the sting if it is safe to do so. If the sting becomes embedded in the eye it is recommended that it be left alone to avoid damaging the structure of the eye itself.

Here is what my experience was like. Shortly after the sting occurred my eyes became extremely bloodshot. The affected eye began to tear heavily accompanied by heavy secretion of mucosa from the lacrimal gland. I did not have any medications available, so I placed an ice pack on the eye to help relieve the pain. I do not know if this is advisable, but it did help relieve the pain in my case. I laid down, and after about an hour, the heavy tearing and vasodilation of the eyes had subsided. The next morning I was unable to open the affected eye due to heavy mucous on the eyelids. I had to use a washcloth with hot water to dampen the eyelashes and wipe away the dried mucous. I have not had any other complications other than the general discomfort caused by the swelling.

Here is a link to the article that I found regarding bee and wasp stings of the eye.

Please share your experiences! You can post a description of your most painful bee sting in the comments section below. If you have any tips for treating bee stings please post them!


  • Chris

    I was just stung at the edge of my upper eye lid. Thankfully it did not hurt too much, but swelling around the eye occurred after 12 hours and peaked at 24 hours. There is a slight constant pressure pain, not too bad, just there. Seems my vision is a little blurry in that eye but it might be the swelling affecting sight. I used a little antibiotic ointment around the eye, nothing else. Waiting for the swelling to subside. Going on day three now. Thank you for the information, it was comforting.

  • Jason Naranjo

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I just received a bee sting to my upper eyelid 10 minutes ago. My vision in that eye is becoming a little blurry. Just a little discomfort so far. I was at work building a fence when it happened and at first I thought I had cut my eyebrow when wiping sweat off my forehead. I drove home with the stinger still imbedded in my eyelid. I also am beginning to feel dizzy. Hopefully it doesn’t get worse.

  • Lauri Waterfield Callison

    So thankful that I found your post- though now I’m a little worried about Jason & hope he’s well over his sting! You know that “fun” moment when you realize that the angry bee in your face is actually on the INside of your veil? That was just as I got stung right below my right eye yesterday. I think I managed to brush her off in mid-sting though, as the sting was never all that bad. I closed up the hive (it was a package installed a few days ago & I took too long looking for the Queen) & took some liquid Benadryl. (Yup, a child’s dose- and I still struggled all evening to stay awake) Had to keep a soft cloth handy because of constant tearing. This morning my eye was crusted shut & more swollen, but not painful at all. Opted to skip the contacts though because my eye is so bloodshot. I guess I look a little rough….but the other girl was worse!🐝😵

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