Is the heat relentless and unbearable? Do you get a throbbing headache everytime you go out in the hot sun? Next time you venture out during hot summer days, take adequate precautions to avoid getting a heat stroke.
Sunstroke or heat stroke is a deadly form of heat attack. Heat stroke can be considered as a medical crisis, as it can kill you or cause irreversible damage to the brain. In such emergency situations, you need to call 911 or be given immediate first-aid until a team of paramedics arrives to help you.
Heat Stroke Causes & Symptoms:
A sunstroke can result from long exposure to heat or very high temperature, which leads to severe dehydration in the body. Medically, a heat stroke is defined as the rising of the core-body temperature (more than 104 Degrees Fahrenheit). Such high temperature affects the central nervous system and symptoms like nausea, headache, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, disorientation, loss of consciousness or even seizures can be experienced. A heat stroke can happen to anyone, and people above the age of 50 need to take extra care. Heat stroke can also progress from mild heat-related ailments such as heat exhaustion or heat cramps.
Heat Stroke Prevention
Let us study some basic guidelines to prevent an attack of heat stroke:
- Water – Drink lots and lots of water, especially during the hot summer months. You should at least drink 12 cups of water every day to stay hydrated and maintain normal body temperature.
- SPF – Do not venture out into the sun without proper UV protection. Apply your sunscreen liberally all over your exposed body parts and face. Normally, sunscreen cream with SPF 30 is recommended for dry and hot weather.
- Outfit – Wear a dress that is appropriate for the weather. In hot weather wear light-weight, loosely fitted and light- coloured outfits. This can help keep your body stay fresh and cool.
- Shades – Protect your eyes and head by wearing sunshades, head-scarves or using an umbrella. In hot climatic conditions, especially between 11 A.M. and 3 P.M. It is advisable to venture out armed with protective gear.
- Fluids – Always carry a water bottle and take little sips at regular intervals. It is best to avoid alcoholic beverages that may dehydrate the body.
Heat Exhaustion Fever
Heat exhaustion happens when the body overreacts to external factors such as high temperature. Such a condition is very common in athletes, who are continuously involved in outdoor exercises even in hot summer weather. Heat exhaustion may develop gradually with symptoms that include mild fever (100 Degree Fahrenheit to 102 Degree Fahrenheit), fainting, weakness, and nausea.
Heat Exhaustion VS Heat Stroke – Understanding the Difference
- Both these conditions are the results of over-exposure to very high temperature (extreme hot weather).
- Heat exhaustion does not cause severe bodily damage
- Heat stroke can cause permanent damage to the body.
- Heat stroke is a serious condition needing immediate action.
- In heat stroke, the body temperature shoots up to more than 104 Degree Fahrenheit or even higher.
- Heat exhaustion is not life-threatening.
- However, a case of heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if not attended in time.
- Some rest and hydrating the body with vital fluids can help you recover from an episode of heat exhaustion
- Heat stroke condition is not to be taken lightly and requires prompt medical aid
Exertional Heat Stroke
Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is a grave life-threatening emergency that needs quick medical attention. The body temperature becomes very high and has to be controlled with the aid of medicines. EHS is different from normal heat stroke that usually affects young kids and elderly people.
EHS generally happens to young people who are engaged in energetic physical activities in hot weather. Non-exertional heat stroke or NEHS affects elderly people, very young children, and chronically ill patients.
How do you know if you have heat exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion can build-up slowly or suddenly. You may be working outdoors or playing in a hot environment. You may start to perspire heavily and become dehydrated. The skin becomes cool and moist followed by heavy sweating.
How long does heat exhaustion last?
Heat exhaustion lasts for about 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Then the health can gradually be improved by drinking water and taking rest in a shady place.
What is heat exhaustion?
Sudden fatigue and collapse of the body due to relentless exposure to unbearable or excessive heat conditions.
What should you do for heat stroke?
When you see a person suffering from acute heat stroke, carry him to a shady area, give him water to drink, sponge his body or spray cold water over him, fan the person and call 911 or paramedics to give him medical attention. Watch out for signs of seizure, irregular breathing, and unconsciousness.