Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are both severe medical conditions. It’s important to consciously take care of your body every day throughout the hot summers. If you are not careful, you can end up dehydrated and feeling weak or worse, in the hospital. AFC Urgent Care Norwalk can help treat symptoms of heat exhaustion, but if someone is showing signs of heatstroke, it is best to visit your local emergency room

Difference Between Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

Heat exhaustion happens when the body is overheating and can show symptoms such as muscle weakness, excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting, and potentially fainting. When your body’s internal temperature reaches 103 degrees, that begins symptoms of a heat stroke. From there, all symptoms become more severe, and you may experience unexpected behavior changes, and your skin may be hot, red, and dry. All symptoms should be taken seriously, and you should receive medical attention if they begin. 

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Be mindful of all symptoms of a heat stroke in yourself and others after spending an extended amount of time outside or in the sun. Symptoms of heatstroke can include:

  • Sudden and severe headache
  • Sudden dizziness, confusion, or agitation
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Sudden feeling of chills or cold while sweating
  • Either hot and dry skin, or slightly damp skin, depending on the cause of the heatstroke
  • Racing heart rate 
  • Rapid breathing
  • Vomiting or nausea

Treatment of Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

Anyone who is showing signs or symptoms from above, call 911 or visit your local emergency room to receive emergency treatment. Heatstroke is a serious medical condition, and it should be treated promptly to avoid any complications. If you or someone else are experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion, move them to a cooler, shaded area out of the sun. Remove any excess clothing and apply a cool compress to the head, back of the neck, chest, or back. Applying cool water to the skin can also help to cool down the body. 

Avoid drinking ice water as a way to cool down the body. While suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, ice water can cause stomach cramps, constrict the capillaries, and decrease absorption. 

Prevention

If you know you will be spending a lot of time outside and in the sun, be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing that helps to wick moisture from your body. Avoid wearing dark-colored clothing to not absorb heat from the sun. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated throughout the day, and drink some beverages with electrolytes to receive even more hydration. Avoid excess amounts of alcohol when you are spending time in the sun.