JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish Sting Pain

Jellyfish Sting Pain picture

Jellyfish Sting Pain

A jellyfish is a non-aggressive creature and it does not even have the capacity to swim horizontally. It has a solid body mass of only about 5 percent and has no brain. The body of the jellyfish is a typical bell shape, with tentacles trailing from the edges of the body. The jellyfish has only basic reactions to certain stimuli that it is able to sense. For example when a living creature comes in contact with it, the jellyfish immediately reacts by extending its tentacles towards the object and injecting a venom.

The tentacles of a jellyfish has thousands of stinging cells called nematocysts, which are filled with venom. There are about 200 species of jellyfish and out of these only few have venom which is harmful to humans. The vast majority of jellyfish stinger cells are not powerful enough to penetrate the human skin and also the venom is very mild. But there are certain species of jellyfish whose sting is very harmful and may also cause death. The Chironex fleckeri a type of box jellyfish is one such species and is found mainly in waters around Australia. Its sting can cause instantaneous death. Another stinging jellyfish is the Irukandji which also inhabits the waters of Australia and can also cause death if medical treatment is not given immediately. A commonly found stinging jellyfish is the Sea Nettle and they move around in swarms, and if it has stung in multiple places, its venom can cause drastic allergic reactions in the person.

Usually a jellyfish sting pain can be excruciating and immediate first-aid has to be rendered to relieve the pain. Jellyfish sting pain is mainly caused by the chemical reaction of the venom in the body. When a jellyfish stings it fires hundreds of stinging cells at the skin. So the first thing to do is, carefully remove any tentacles which are there on the body of the person and then with a tweezer pick out all the nematocysts that can be seen. This will reduce the amount of venom being injected into the system.

Jellyfish sting pain can be reduced by neutralising the venom. This can be done by immersing the affected part in hot water of about 122 degrees Fahrenheit. If hot water is not available sea water will also work, but do not use fresh water. The stung area should not be rubbed in any way as it will cause any nematocysts sticking on the skin to fire their venom, thus increasing the pain.

After administering the above mentioned first-aid, jellyfish sting pain can be treated by commonly available pain killers. If the pain is too severe the doctor can also prescribe certain narcotics. Stings from the Irukandji will require immediate administering of anti-venom, or the person can go into a cardiac arrest within minutes. There are now also various sprays and lotions available which are specifically made to relieve jellyfish sting pain. It is wise to travel well-equipped with vinegar and such lotions when going on a beach vacation.

We get our Jellyfish Sting Protection and Relief products on Ebay (best price) or our local diving supply store.

There is detailed info available on the different types of stinging jellyfish and the safety precautions one can take in our sections on Jellyfish Stings and Jellyfish Sting Safety

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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