Symptoms Of Heat Exhaustion

What to do when the symptoms of heat exhaustion appear


When the mercury rises in summer and one is exposed to the Sun, it can lead to a condition known as heat exhaustion. Of course, heat and cold tolerance levels differ from individual to individual, but the consensus is even an hour of consistent exposure to harsh sunlight poses a risk. Simple basics like consuming adequate amounts of liquids, especially water or wearing something protective to ward off the sun are overlooked. The consequence is inevitably heat exhaustion. Well, what are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion


If one needs to be in the Sun for a prolonged period ensure that they take breaks, consume adequate water and liquids. Keep yourself protected from direct exposure for a sustained length of time, cover vulnerable areas like the head and avoid consuming alcohol, as it accelerates the development of heat exhaustion. These simple steps will go a long way to prevent the symptoms of heat exhaustion setting in.

Symptoms Of Heat Exhaustion (Heat Stroke)

When the temperatures’ peak the most common malady that strikes is heat exhaustion, and if severe it may lead to Heat stroke. The cause is sustained exposure to sunlight and these can happen in tandem. If the former condition (heat exhaustion) is unheeded or left untreated it could escalate to the latter. The symptoms of heat exhaustion can be prevented if one takes ample measures to shield themselves from direct sunlight. Something, as simple as wearing a hat or cap or using an umbrella, can prevent the heat from playing spoilsport especially, when on vacation.

When the body overheats the built in mechanism to release heat begins to kick in at a rapid pace. If there is excessive, overheating it could pose a serious threat, especially if one does not perspire sufficiently or one’s fluid intake is inadequate. The symptoms of heat exhaustion include cold or clammy skin, fatigue, slight disorientation etc. If the condition is not attended to it progresses into the second stage, heat stroke.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are exacerbated in the second stage of heat stroke with the onset of a high fever, red blotchy areas appearing on the body and face and many more. After that comes a secondary stage of symptoms such as a feeling of nausea, vomiting, severe dizziness or the victim suffering a blackout. To prevent these from occurring the victim’s body temperature has to be brought down as soon as possible.

Preventive Measures for Heat Stress

Once an individual begins to exhibit symptoms of heat stress they need to be moved to a shaded area at the earliest. The clothes need to be loosened and cold compresses (an ice pack) needs to be applied to key areas of the skin, especially the pulse points such as the wrists, neck, forehead etc. They need to be hydrated and given adequate drinks of liquids, preferably water. If the pulse stabilizes after sufficient rest and none of the symptoms of heat exhaustion seems to re-appear, it is fine and they will make a quick recovery.

However if the symptoms of heat exhaustion persist and they seem to be getting delirious you need to call 911 at the earliest. Continue with the cold compresses and keep them in a supine position, placing their feet in an elevated position, as blood flow can drop rapidly because of elevated heat stress. They need professional medical attention as soon as possible.