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Thursday, August 16, 2018
What Are Some Differences Between Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion?
While heat stroke and heat
exhaustion share certain symptoms, those unique to heat stroke include
increased body temperature, delirium, convulsions and a rapid heart
rate, according to WebMD. Heat stroke often occurs suddenly and
can occur without any preliminary symptoms of heat exhaustion such as
fatigue, nausea or dizziness.
While heat stroke and heat exhaustion are related
conditions, heat stroke is significantly more dangerous and can be
fatal if not immediately and comprehensively treated, explains WebMD.
Symptoms shared by both conditions include nausea, fatigue, confusion,
dizziness and fainting.
One of the most effective ways to tell the difference between the two
conditions is through the sweat of the affected individual. Individuals
suffering from heat exhaustion typically experience drenching sweats
accompanied by clammy, cold skin, while individuals suffering from heat
stroke sweat less than usual and typically have skin that is flushed,
hot and dry to the touch, notes WebMD.
Another important determining factor is the heartbeat of the affected
individual, according to WebMD. A rapid heart rate is a symptom of heat
stroke, while individuals suffering from heat exhaustion typically
exhibit weakened or slowed heartbeats. Both conditions require immediate
medical attention, especially if the condition of the affected
individual does not improve when placed in a cool area and administered
salts and fluids.
There are two types of heat exhaustion:
- Water depletion. Signs include excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness.
- Salt depletion. Signs include nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, and dizziness.
Symptoms of Heat ExhaustionThe most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
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- Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
- Muscle or abdominal cramps
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Pale skin
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
Treatment for Heat ExhaustionIf you, or anyone else, has symptoms of heat exhaustion, it's essential to immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room. If you can't get inside, try to find the nearest cool and shady place.
Other recommended strategies include:
- Drink plenty of fluid (avoid caffeine and alcohol).
- Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.
- Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
- Apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.
After you've recovered from heat exhaustion, you'll probably be more sensitive to high temperatures during the following week. So it's best to avoid hot weather and heavy exercise until your doctor tells you that it's safe to resume your normal activities.