health

14 Symptoms Of Heatstroke To Watch Out For

by Sneha Goud

Summer is the season to enjoy the great outdoors — swimming, camping, or relaxing on the beach. And although it seems like fall is just around the corner, we still have a while to go before the weather really cools down.

Spending time in the sun can be fun, but hot weather can sometimes lead to heatstroke, a potentially deadly condition.

When temperatures are 90 degrees or higher and the humidity is 60 percent or higher, you can take some simple steps to avoid heatstroke: Avoid going outside in the hottest part of the day (usually 12 to 4 p.m.); wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and a hat; and drink plenty of fluids.

Even if you follow these steps, you can still experience a heat-related illness.

Observe your body for any symptoms of heatstroke, and seek immediate medical attention if you experience anything unusual. If you aren’t sure of the symptoms, read on to find out major signs of heatstroke and how to relieve them.

Heatstroke Symptoms

1. Headache

Heatstroke Symptoms<br><br>1. Headache
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After a long day in the sun, you might experience a throbbing headache. According to the National Weather Service, drinking plenty of noncaffeinated, nonalcoholic fluids when in excessive heat can help prevent a heat-related illness. So any time it’s really hot, you should keep a bottle of water handy!

2. Dizziness and Light-Headedness

2. Dizziness and Light-Headedness
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Dizziness is a common sign of heatstroke. Stop all activity and move to a cooler place if you are feeling dizzy and light-headed.

If you can’t find a cooler area, find someplace shady to rest. Take off any excess clothing, and try to cool down your body temperature in any way you can — cool water, fans, and ice packs are all great options.

3. Lack of Sweating or Excessive Sweating

3. Lack of Sweating <i>or</i> Excessive Sweating
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Sweating is a way for the body to cool down. The Mayo Clinic explains: “In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.”

Make sure your body is able to sweat by wearing loose-fitting clothing when exercising outside. If you are excessively sweating or not sweating despite feeling warm, move into the shade and drink fluids.

4. Red Skin

4. Red Skin
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If your skin becomes red and hot to the touch, your body is trying to cool itself down by directing blood flow to the skin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking a cool bath and calling emergency services if your skin does not return to normal after one hour.

5. Rapid Heartbeat

5. Rapid Heartbeat
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Rapid heartbeat is another sign that your body is pumping extra blood to cool the skin. “This leaves less blood for your working muscles and, as a result, your heart pumps faster,” says Dr. Carly Day of the Cleveland Clinic.

6. Rapid, Shallow Breathing

6. Rapid, Shallow Breathing
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Rapid and shallow breathing can be a sign you are experiencing heatstroke, explains the Mayo Clinic. You could be at an increased risk for heatstroke if you take certain medications or suffer any chronic illnesses. Consult with your doctor to check if you should take extra precautions in hot weather.

7. Confusion or Disorientation

7. Confusion or Disorientation
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Any change in mental behavior, such as confusion or feeling disoriented, could indicate heatstroke. If someone is experiencing confusion, do anything you can to cool the person immediately, such as fanning the air around the person with your hands.

8. Slurred Speech

8. Slurred Speech
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Slurred speech is another symptom to watch for. If someone you know suddenly can’t get words out clearly, it’s never a good sign.

Call 911 immediately if you or someone you are with is unable to speak clearly.

9. Agitation or Irritation

9. Agitation or Irritation
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A person with heatstroke can become easily agitated or irritated. If someone seems to be unusually angry after spending time in the sun, try to cool that person off. Remove any excess clothing the person is wearing, including shoes and socks, to cool down the body temperature.

10. High Temperature

10. High Temperature
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The main symptom of heatstroke is when a person’s body temperature reaches 104 degrees. If you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke, even if other symptoms are not present, take that person’s temperature immediately.

11. Trouble Walking

11. Trouble Walking
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Trouble walking is another sign of the body working overtime to cool down. When the temperature is extremely high, move to an air-conditioned facility instead of relying on fans, if possible.

12. Nausea or Vomiting

12. Nausea or Vomiting
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If you feel nauseous or you vomit while outside in the heat, you could  be suffering from heatstroke. If possible, avoid outside activity during hottest part of the day (12 to 4 p.m.) when temperatures and humidity are high.

13. Pinpoint Pupils

13. Pinpoint Pupils
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Pinpoint (or constricted) pupils are a serious sign of heatstroke, according to Dr. Luan E. Lawson of the Brody School of Medicine. Immediately call 911 if you notice someone in this condition.

14. Loss of Consciousness

14. Loss of Consciousness
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The most extreme symptom of heatstroke is losing consciousness. Call 911, then put cool compresses on the person’s head or neck, keeping the head elevated while you wait for emergency services.

Victims of heatstroke often don’t realize they are experiencing it until their symptoms progress to needing medical attention. Be observant of symptoms in yourself and those around you in hot, humid weather.

Heatstroke is easily avoidable if you drink plenty of fluids and avoid physical activity in extreme heat. Enjoy the warm weather, and be careful!