Millions of individuals are highly sensitive to insect stings including the yellow jacket wasp. Among non-allergic individuals, a sting from a yellow jacket wasp can cause localized pain, redness and swelling at the sting site that can persist for several hours. Nevertheless, once an individual who is allergic to yellow jacket is stung, the symptoms are considered serious. In case a severe allergic response or anaphylaxis occurs, the individual who endured a sting from a yellow jacket wasp requires immediate emergency care right away.
What happens during anaphylaxis?
The first time a highly sensitive individual ends up with a sting from a yellow jacket wasp, his/her body generates immunoglobulin E or IgE. When the individual gets stung for the second time, the risk for a reaction to a sting might be the same or worse than the first time.
The venom introduced into the body by the yellow jacket wasp attaches to the IgE which triggers the release of histamine in the body. This heightened response to the allergen can trigger symptoms that are severe which can be life-threatening if not properly treated.
Mild allergic symptoms
The primary indications of anaphylaxis include swelling in the areas away from the sting site such as the tongue or throat as well as hives. A highly sensitive individual will feel as if there is a lump inside the throat and can even develop hoarseness and swallowing difficulty.
Severe allergy symptoms
During an anaphylactic reaction to yellow jacket sting, it can rapidly progress to severe symptoms. Take note that two or more of the following symptoms can develop which includes the following:
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal cramps
An allergic individual might also develop a strong feeling of impending doom or a feeling that something is seriously wrong. In severe circumstances, the blood pressure can abruptly drop and lose consciousness and go into a state of shock and eventually cardiac arrest. Remember that this is an actual life-threatening emergency that entails immediate medical care.
How to cope with yellow jacket allergy
Individuals who are considered highly sensitive to the sting of a yellow jacket wasp must seek immediate medical advice with an allergist who can prescribe epinephrine that is self-injected in case of a sting.
The allergist might also recommend preventive treatment in the form of venom allergy shots that involves gradual administration of increasing amounts of the purified insect venom. Take note that this technique has been considered highly beneficial in preventing upcoming anaphylactic reactions to a sting from a yellow jacket wasp. A highly sensitive individual must learn to recognize yellow jackets and their nests where they are likely to be located and the season where these insects are highly active.
Once a nest of yellow jackets is close to the house, it is best to call for professional services to effectively deal with the insects.