Summer is finally here and we couldn’t be happier about it! However, the scorching heat from the sun can bring a lot of unpleasant problems. Many people think that they don’t need protection from the sun or don’t know how to protect themselves, which can be detrimental to their health.
One of the biggest problems in the summer is heatstroke. This medical condition occurs when the body’s cooling mechanism fails to adapt to the temperature outside. In general, heatstroke occurs when the body reaches temperatures of 104-105 degrees Fahrenheit. The person affect may experience heat cramps and exhaustion as well as dizziness and overall fatigue. Here are the risk factors for heatstroke:
Young children and people over 65 are more prone to heatstroke due to the poor general condition of their bodies and their temperature control system. Their bodies aren’t able to respond to high temperatures for a prolonged period, which significantly increases the risk of the condition.
Strenuous workouts can temporarily impair the body’s heat control system, resulting in exhaustion and heatstroke. The military, athletes and people who work outside under the scorching sun are at an increased risk of the condition.
Medications such as beta-blockers, diuretics, vasoconstrictors and psychoactive drugs can interfere with the body’s heat control mechanism and increase the risk of heatstroke.
Some people are genetically predisposed to heatstroke. Some of us can adapt to temperature changes easier, but others have a hard time adapting.
Here are the main heatstroke symptoms you should pay attention to:
- Lack of sweat
Although sweating is usual when it’s hot, it won’t occur if you’re suffering from heatstroke. Heatstroke affects the body’s temperature control system that it can’t even cool down properly.
- Body temperatures of 40C or higher
Once the body reaches 40C or higher in the summer, you will suffer from heatstroke.
- Rapid heartbeat
Due to the absence of sweat, the heart will work harder to compensate for the high temperature which will result in rapid and irregular heartbeat.
- Rapid and shallow breathing
As the body is unable to cool down, you will start breathing shallow and fast.
- Muscle cramps
As the condition progresses, it may cause muscle cramps and even pain in the muscles.
- Mental confusion
Heatstroke patients have often reported dizziness, staggering and hallucinations as some of the symptoms of the condition.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Red, hot and dry skin
Due to the symptoms, heatstroke is considered a medical emergency and should be treated by a professional. Failure to act on time may result in severe damage to the kidneys, muscles, heart and brain. If you or someone close to you is suffering from heatstroke, you should follow these first aid treatment steps:
- Put the person in a dark and cool area, preferably one that is air-conditioned.
- Apply ice pack on their head, neck, armpits and groin. These areas have a rich blood supply so the ice packs can reduce the heat in the body.
- Put the person in a bathtub with icy water.
Heatstroke is not something you should play with – fail to resolve it on time and it can significantly harm your health. Pay attention to the aforementioned symptoms so you can enjoy summer as you should and visit a doctor as soon as you notice them!