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Wasp stings are common, and they become even more common as the weather warms up. However, while the stings may be painful and uncomfortable, most people will recover in a relatively short period of time, with no complications.

Symptoms of a sting

The majority of wasp stings will not result in an allergy, only in minor symptoms. The initial symptoms after the sting may include burning and sharp pain, followed by swelling, itching and redness at the site of the sting. These are all normal reactions. The pain and swelling should recede after a few hours.

In more severe cases, you may have a “large local reaction.” These reactions are caused by allergies to the wasp venom, but they are not life-threatening. They may include extreme swelling and redness at the location of the sting which increase over a period of about three days. Other symptoms may include vomiting and nausea. This reaction should subside on its own over the course of a week, but it is important to get in touch with a doctor if it does occur, who might recommend OTC antihistamine medication to reduce the pain and discomfort. It’s also important to note that having one large local reaction does not mean you will have another in the future.

Anaphylaxis

In the most severe cases, an allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, which is a shock response to the wasp venom. Anaphylaxis generally occurs very quickly, and it is essential to seek medical attention in these situations right away. The symptoms of anaphylaxis include severe swelling in the face, lips and throat, hives all over the body, breathing difficulties, dizziness, sudden drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, vomiting and diarrhea, stomach cramps, and a weak or racing pulse. A person may experience all or some of these symptoms during anaphylaxis. If you or someone you know has a history of anaphylaxis, you can purchase bee/wasp sting kits which contain an epinephrine injection (EpiPen) that will reduce the severity of life threatening symptoms.

Whatever your sensitivity to wasp stings may be, you definitely want to avoid being stung as much as possible. If you notice a lot of wasps on your property, there may be a nest nearby, in which case you should call over a specialist in order to remove it. Contact us today if you have any wasp issues and you suspect an infestation.