As the temperature continues to climb, the dangers of the hot sun rise as well. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion and acting fast to receive medical attention can make a large difference in the recovery from either condition.
What are the causes of heat stroke and heat exhaustion?
The primary cause of any heat-related condition is the inability for the body to cool itself. Your body uses sweat to regulate temperature. In extreme temperatures or periods of over-exertion, your body may not be able to maintain sweat production levels needed to keep the body cool.
Other contributing causes for heat-related illnesses may also include dehydration, alcohol consumption and wearing improper (heavy or tight) clothing.
What are the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion?
While both conditions are cause for concern, heat stroke can be much more serious. Often, muscle cramping may be the first sign of a heat-related illness. In addition to this, any of the following symptoms may also occur:
Your doctor may diagnose your condition based on symptoms, but may also choose to run some tests to check for possible complications. Some of these tests may include:
If you begin to experience symptoms of heat exhaustion, there are a few steps you can take to try to allow your body to recover and begin regulating your temperature again.
In the event you become nauseated or vomit, seek medical attention right away. Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency. Your doctor may:
While anyone can develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke, there are a few risk factors that may increase your risk.
As obvious as it may sound, keeping your body temperature cool is the main way to prevent heat-related illness. A few ideas:
We look forward to summer activities all year, but it is very important that we take the necessary precautions and plan our activities to also keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy.
Written By: S. Campbell for Access Health Care Physicians, LLC.
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