Summer comes early in Texas, and with it comes sweltering temperatures, high humidity, and lots of sunshine. Undoubtedly each summer, Texans suffer from preventable heat strokes and heat exhaustion. Understanding the symptoms and signs of heat stroke can protect you and loved ones from the adverse effects of a heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion is extremely common in Central Texas. But it doesn’t always call for a trip to the ER. Heat exhaustion can usually be resolved with at home remedies. However, heat stroke is always a medical emergency and it’s important to seek an emergency room immediately if you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing a heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion typically occurs when your body has lost a significant amount of water and salt. This usually occurs from sweating. Heat stroke occurs when your body can no longer control its internal temperature, causing a slew of problems from rapid heart rate to organ damage.
Let’s take a look at the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion Include:
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of heat exhaustion, move to a shaded area or away from the heat entirely. Add a cool compress to your body or take a cold shower.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke Include
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of heat stroke, seek urgent medical attention. Knowing when to head to the ER can help save lives during the excessive heat we experience every summer.
Escaping the heat may be impossible during the hottest months of the summer, but being prepared and preventing heat stroke is possible with relatively easy solutions.
Some are more prone to experiencing the effects of heat exhaustion and heat stroke than others. Factors like your age, the current heat index, and certain medications can increase your risk of heat stroke.
Certain risk factors can include
The symptoms of heat stroke can come on suddenly and be alarming. If you or someone you know is experiencing the signs of heat stroke, then seek immediate 24-hour emergency care at your closest ER.
Unlike heat exhaustion, heat stroke treatment can only be performed by a medical professional. If you suspect you’re experiencing heat stroke symptoms, take your temperature. Temperatures around or above 104 are a medical emergency.
Treating heat stroke differs from heat exhaustion because you’ll likely need an IV of cool fluids as well as other medical interventions to help your body begin regulating its internal temperature again. Medical professionals will also be able to run diagnostic tests to indicate if any damage has been done to your muscles, kidneys, and other major organs.