Everybody loves to spend time outside during the summer. Whether it is a backyard barbeque, a few laps in the pool, or a day of soaking up the sun at the beach, we feel the dull blahs of the winter months drifting away. Usually, the longer we stay outside and enjoy the sun, the better we feel. However, too much heat or exercise during the summer months can be too much for your body to handle.
- muscle cramps
- pale skin
- profuse sweating
- rapid heartbeat
Heat exhaustion comes in two forms. The first being water depletion, when your body experiences excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness. The second being salt depletion, when your body experiences nausea and vomiting, frequent muscle cramps, and dizziness.
While heat exhaustion is not as serious as heat stroke, it can progress into heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs, or it can even cause death.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion, you should get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room or the nearest cool and shady place. You should drink plenty of fluids and avoid caffeine and alcohol. Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing. Taking a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath should be helpful. You should also consider other cooling measures, such as a fan or applying ice towels. Seek medical attention if you do not feel any relief within 30 minutes.
Children and the elderly are highly prone to heat exhaustion and should be checked on during heat wave periods. People with certain medical conditions, such as heart, lung, or kidney disease and those taking certain medications, such as diuretics, sedatives, stimulants, psychiatric drugs, or heart or blood pressure medications are also more prone to heat exhaustion.