Sunstroke, also known as heatstroke is a serious form of heat-related injury or hyperthermia. It is a condition caused by the overheating of the body due to prolonged exposure or physical activities in the high temperature. In the case of the most serious form of heat injury, the body temperature rises to more than 104 F. It requires immediate medical treatment and mostly occurs during the summer months.
If left untreated, heatstroke can affect the brain, kidney, heart, and muscles. This keeps on worsening if the treatment is delayed and can also lead to an increase in the risk of death.
Sunstroke Symptoms –
Sunstroke symptoms can be observed differently in different individuals.
It can include the following signs and symptoms –
- Increase in body temperature (more than 104 F).
- Dryness or slight moistness in the skin.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Redness in the skin due to an increase in body temperature.
- Breathing may become rapid.
- Racing heart rate.
- Too much headache.
- Behavioral changes like confusion, agitation, and disorientation.
See your doctor promptly if the symptoms worsen.
Who is at risk of sunstroke?
Though anyone can develop sunstroke at any age, certain factor increase the risk, including –
- Age – Adults who are of more than 65 years are at a higher risk because the ability to cope with extreme heat begins to deteriorate.
- Sudden exposure – A sudden exposure to an increase in temperature can cause heatstroke.
- Lack of air conditioning – Air conditioning helps a lot during summer to cool down. Lack of it can lead to sunstrokes.
- Medications – A few medicines can act as a stimulant to make the heatstroke more vulnerable.
- Health conditions – Few illnesses related to heart or lung can increase the chances of sunstroke.
Sunstroke Causes –
The contributing factors to the sunstroke causes include the following –
- Exposure – Being out or exposed to the hot environment can lead to a rise in the core body temperature, which can lead to heatstroke.
- Physical activity – Intense physical activity can lead to an increase in body temperature that can cause sunstroke.
- Wearing too many clothes.
- Drinking alcohol
Sunstroke Diagnosis –
For the diagnosis, the sunstroke doctor can do the laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis. They can easily find out the symptoms and assess the damage caused to the organs –
The doctor may recommend the following sunstroke test that can help in determining the underlying conditions that are causing the symptoms –
- A blood test – To check the sodium or potassium content in the blood to see if there is any damage to the nervous system.
- A urine test – To check the function of the kidney that may be affected by the heatstroke.
- X-ray and other tests.
- Rectal temperature to check the body temperature.
- Muscle function test.
Sunstroke Treatment –
The treatment can be done by cooling the temperature of the body that can help to reduce the risk of damage to the brain. Here’s what can be done to treat the sunstroke –
- Take a cold water bath or immerse yourself in the water.
- Use cooling techniques to lower down the temperature of the body.
- Cooling blankets can be used.
- Medicines for sunstroke.
- Stay hydrated.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
- Take a cool shower bath.
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Sun strokes prevention –
Sunstroke can be prevented by making certain changes in lifestyle or by various home remedies. Here are a few ways to prevent sunstrokes –
- Wear loose-fitting clothes.
- Apply sunscreen whenever you go out.
- Drink plenty of water or stay hydrated.
- Take precautions while taking medicines.