What is heat exhaustion? Heat exhaustion is known as exposure to excessive heat for prolonged periods, which can lead to serious health problems.
Heat exhaustion may progress to heatstroke when your body’s temperature rises to at least 104°F, which can damage your brain and other important organs, cause shock, or even death. Luckily, heat exhaustion is preventable.
Also, Heat exhaustion can happen when someone is exercising in high temperatures for an extended period or in a hot car or other indoor areas that aren’t air-conditioned.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
What are the first signs of heat exhaustion? The signs of heat exhaustion can go unnoticed or easily overlook until they become severe. However, the early signs to watch out for include:
- Excessive sweating
- Tiredness or weakness
- Cold, pale, and clammy skin accompanied by goosebumps
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle cramps
- Fast, shallow breathing
- Very thirsty
- Rapid heartbeat
Cause of heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is caused by exposure to high temperatures due to warm weather or humid than average. Also, other factors that can cause heat exhaustion include:
- Dehydration due to water loss from excessive sweating
- Alcohol consumption
- Age. Infants and young children up to age 4, and adults over age 65, are extremely vulnerable to heat exhaustion
- Certain medications such as sedatives, diuretics, heart and blood pressure drugs
- People who have diabetes, heart disease, lung, or kidney condition, fever, underweight or obesity, high blood pressure, sickle cell, and sunburn are vulnerable to heat exhaustion
Treatment for heat exhaustion
- Move to a cool place to rest, optionally in an air-conditioned room. (a few hours in air conditioning room can help your whole body cooldown)
- Place cool, wet cloths on your body
- Drink plenty of fluids, don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink (make sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol).
- Taking a cold shower or bath
Prevention of heat exhaustion
- Avoid excess alcohol or caffeine. Both can regulate temperature.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, and lightweight clothes to allow air reaches your body.
- Drink plenty of water to stop dehydration while outside
- Shield yourself from the hot sun by wearing a cap or using an umbrella.
- During exercise, you should consume more water
- While outdoors, use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher
- Never leave your kid or anyone in a parked car when it is hot outside
Always help your body to keep itself cool.