Home Air Conditioning Can Help You Avoid Heat Exhaustion in The Heat of Summer
Heat exhaustion is a condition that can occur when an individual is exposed to a temperature that is higher than normal. This condition often presents with sweating, and an increased heart rate, due to the increased temperature. This condition often leads to dehydration. Heat exhaustion can be caused by anything that surges the temperature of a place, or activities that increases the body temperature. This condition has serious consequences, especially when uncontrolled, or managed properly. However, the good news is that this condition is totally preventable. Heat exhaustion can be divided into two types. These are;
- Water depletion heat exhaustion: This type of heat exhaustion present with symptoms like excessive fatigue, thirst, headache and loss of consciousness.
- Salt depletion: This type of heat exhaustion present with symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, muscle twitching, and
Heat exhaustion is not well managed can progress to heat stroke; one of the most dangerous heat syndromes. It usually leads to the damage of the major organs of the body, including the brain.
What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?
The signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion can start presenting abruptly or develop over a period of time, especially when the affected involves himself in a prolonged exhaustive physical activity. Below are some of the symptoms of this disease;
- Serious sweating
- Cool skin, which is the body’s way of compensating for the high temperature.
- Syncope, also known as fainting.
- Increased heart rate.
- Involuntary muscle twitching and muscle cramps.
- Increased body temperature
- Decreased urine output, also known as oliguria.
- Skin pallor
What are the causes of heat exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion can be caused by a lot of things. Below are some of the causes;
- Serious physical exertion, especially in a hot weather, and without any form of hydration.
- Hot sunny weather, with temperatures going above 40 degrees centigrade. This is more prominent in places such as the desert, and the middle eastern part of Asia.
- Fever: Fever usually comes with increased temperature. However, this usually has different severity. Severe fever of body temperatures above 40 degrees centigrade can lead to heat exhaustion
- Infection: There are some infections that are associated with high body temperature. An example of this is meningococcal meningitis. Patients suffering from this disease usually have a high body temperature, unrelenting headache, stiff neck, confusion, sleepiness, vomiting. This can lead to heat exhaustion if not well controlled. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
- Medications: Some drugs can lead to the development of heat exhaustion, an example of these drugs are the beta blockers.
- Dehydration: Not having enough fluid can increase the development of heat exhaustion. The process of heat exhaustion is made faster when the individual engages himself in serious physical activities
- Some drugs such as amphetamines, diuretics can also surge the development of heat exhaustion.
- Some individuals also suffer heat exhaustion because of their body abnormal thermoregulation system. Old people, especially above the age of 75, and infants can develop heat exhaustion easily, even without any form of physical exhaustion. This could happen whenever they’re not getting sufficient air or air conditioning in the heat of summer.
What are the risk factors for heat exhaustion?
There are some factors that increase the risk of having this condition. Some of them are;
- Age: It has been proven that infants, and elderly people, especially people that have passed the age of 70, are more prone to having heat exhaustion. This is because of the heat center that it isn’t well developed in infants. On the other hand, medications and illness, coupled with other factors, may be responsible for the development of heat exhaustion in some adults.
- Medications: There are drugs that affect the body’s capability to stay hydrated and the promptness with which the temperature center in the brain reacts to any form of imbalance in the body temperature. Some of these drugs are anti-hypertensive, such as the beta blockers, drugs used in treating hypersensitivity and allergy, such as anti-histamine drugs. Other medications that have been implicated are the anti-psychotic drugs. Some illegal drugs, such as cocaine can also increase the body temperature.
- Excess weight: People with an excess fat deposit in their body, especially obese and overweight people usually have a different body temperature control. Their body tends to retain more heat, as compared to people with a normal weight.
- Abrupt changes in temperature: Sudden changes in temperature also increases the risk of developing heat exhaustion. This could happen, for example, when someone travels from a country with a cold temperature such as Alaska, in winter, to a country with a hot temperature such as Sudan, in the dry season. Such abrupt change in temperature could lead to heat exhaustion.
Heat Exhaustion First Aid Tips from A Doctor
Below are some the things you can rescue someone suffering from heat exhaustion:
- Move the person to a place with cool air, or an air-conditioned room.
- Endeavor to prevent people from crowding around the person.
- Remove the person’s clothing.
- Make the person drink some cold water or any drink that doesn’t contain caffeine.
- Reduce the person’s body temperature by sprinkling some water on him
- Stay close to the individual and monitor the progress. You might call an ambulance if the condition is severe after taking all these steps.
How long does it take to recover from heat exhaustion?
Recovering from heat exhaustion usually take between one to two days. However, this largely depends on the severity of the condition.
Heat exhaustion treatment?
- Consume a lot of water and drinks that don’t contain caffeine
- Remove any extra body clothing.
- Sprinkle the body with water, or just take a cold shower
- If these don’t work, you should call an ambulance.
Top 10 tips to avoid heat exhaustion
- Stay in an air-conditioned room
- Wear light clothes, especially when the temperature is hot
- Wear sunscreens
- Hydrate yourself, to compensate for any loss of fluid due to heat.
- Avoid drinks that don’t have caffeine.
- People that do high-intensity exercises should consume water some hours before starting their activities.
- Avoid wearing dark colored clothes.
- Wear Hats
- You can use an umbrella, especially when the sun is blazing hot.
- Avoid alcohol.
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