What are jellyfish stings?

What are jellyfish stings?

Jellyfish are sea creatures that live in all of the world’s oceans. They have soft, bell-shaped bodies with lengthy tentacles.

Many jellyfish have stinging cells called nematocysts in their tentacles. These cells contain a poisonous substance (venom) that helps jellyfish protect themselves. The venom also helps them capture food by stinging it.

Some of the jellyfish whose stings can be serious include box jellyfish, lion’s mane, Portuguese man-of-war, and sea nettle.

What causes jellyfish stings?

People may come into contact with the nematocysts of a jellyfish when they are swimming in the ocean or walking on the beach. This contact can cause the venom from the nematocysts to be injected into the body. More than 150 million jellyfish stings happen in the world each year.

Depending on the type of jellyfish and how much of the skin touches the venom, the sting can cause pain or other serious health problems. Some jellyfish stings can be life-threatening. It is important to get medical help if you have severe symptoms after a jellyfish sting.

What are the symptoms of jellyfish stings?

The symptoms of jellyfish stings depend on the type of jellyfish you made contact with. Mild jellyfish stings usually cause minor pain, itching, and, in some cases, a rash.

More serious jellyfish stings can cause greater harm. You should get medical help if you have more severe symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Skin blistering
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Worsening redness, rash or pain if a sting gets infected