What is Heat Stroke and Sunstroke?
Heat stroke is a hypothermic condition wherein the body cannot release the excessive heat produced by the metabolic processes, resulting in physical and neurological problems. Heat exhaustion is often experienced in tropical areas where the climate temperatures are very high. Exposure to too much sun results in a certain type of heat stroke which is called sunstroke. Heat stroke and sunstroke may be fatal if not acted upon immediately.
Who Suffers Heat Stroke and Sunstroke?
People who suffer from heat stroke are infants, aged people, athletes, and people who are taking medicines that can cause them to feel dehydrated (which often leads to heat stroke). On the other hand, people who suffer from sun stroke are those who work under extremely warm conditions for extended periods of time, especially if they are exposed to the rays and heat of the sun.
Dehydration usually leads to heat stroke, as there is an insufficient amount of fluid in the body that can help dissipate the excessive heat through perspiration. Any person who does not drink 8-10 glasses of water a day is susceptible to heat exhaustion, especially if he/she constantly exposes him/herself to extreme heat conditions.
What are the Symptoms of Heat Stroke?
Before the actual heat stroke strikes, symptoms of heat exhaustion manifest first. These include fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. If left unaddressed, the condition will proceed to manifest symptoms of heat stroke. Common symptoms are body temperatures above 40.6 Celsius, flushed dry skin without sweating, erratic pulse, difficulty in breathing, agitation, disorientation, seizures, and even coma. The same heat stroke symptoms also manifest in sunstroke.
Treatment of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke treatment involves the need to cool down the body as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the situation, the patient may be forced to drink lots of fluids (energy drinks are highly encouraged), may be bathed, and some are even laid on a tub filled with ice. If left untreated with excessive high temperatures, it may cause the patient to collapse.
Sunstroke Problems and Prevention
Sunstroke is the same as heat stroke, the main difference only being exposed to the sun and causing the body to lose fluids quickly and raise body temperatures. Sunstroke problems can be treated in much the same way as how heat stroke is addressed. However, to prevent sunstroke, people are encouraged to avoid the sun at its peak times, especially when the sun is at its highest (noon time and early afternoon). You can prevent sunstroke by drinking lots of fluids, staying in the shade as much as possible, and wearing clothing that encourages perspiration.