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When to seek treatment for Heat Exhaustion

  • Category: General
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When to seek treatment for Heat Exhaustion

As much fun it is to be outside soaking up the sun, the high temperatures can pose a problem to our health. Of course, the first thought that might pop into your mind is wearing sunscreen to protect the skin from the sun's UV rays. While that is important, the sun and its heat can also cause additional issues like heat exhaustion.  

A condition like this is the result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures and high humidity environments. It's why it's essential to stay hydrated and cool off in the shade every so often.  

Signs of heat exhaustion  

Heat exhaustion might be confused for heat stress or heatstroke, but it's actually in the middle of the two in terms of severity. Heat stress involves heavy sweating, cramps and a sunburn. Heatstroke includes having a temperature over 103 degrees, lack of sweating, confusion, nausea and more. 

With heat exhaustion, the first signs usually involve muscle cramps accompanied by heavy sweating. Other notable symptoms include: 

  • Tiredness 

  • Clammy skin 

  • Fast but weak pulse 

  • Fainting 

If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, it's best to find some shade or step inside away from the hot environment to cool down. Also stay hydrated with water, and make sure to take small sips before gradually increasing water intake. 

Unfortunately, some people are more susceptible to experiencing heat exhaustion than others. In fact, if you’re at a higher risk if you fall under any one of these categories:  

  • Having a job that requires challenging activities in hot temperatures  

  • Participating in sports outside in the heat  

  • Being dehydrated  

  • Being aged 65-years-old or older  

  • Being overweight  

Still, it’s important to remember that anyone in a high-heat, high-humidity environment can get heat exhaustion, and in some cases, the condition might not even show up until a few days later. This is why it's crucial to monitor anyone who stays out in the sun for extended periods. 

How do you treat heat exhaustion?  

If you do develop heat exhaustion, the good news is that hospital treatment is usually not necessary. With the proper care, the condition can disappear. 

However, most people aren't aware of how to treat heat exhaustion. If not addressed, it can quickly turn into heatstroke. This is why it's recommended to seek treatment for heat exhaustion as soon as possible because of how quickly it can turn into heatstroke. 

Other essential treatment options include: 

  • Finding a cooler area, such as shade or indoors with air conditioning 

  • Drinking water 

  • Removing layered clothing 

  • Applying ice packs to the neck, axilla, groin and armpits area 

If any symptoms persist after an hour of at-home treatments, there is any difficulty to retain consciousness, or if there is a severe lack of sweating, seek immediate medical care. These signs usually mean heat exhaustion is developing into heatstroke. 

If you're experiencing extreme pain or a heatstroke, seek medical attention immediately and visit Baptist Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care. 

The medical team at Baptist Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care will help you determine whether you need to be seen as an emergency room patient or an urgent care patient, and we only bill for the care you need. Baptist Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care emergency room is open 24/7, and urgent care is available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Appointments are not necessary - walk in, and our health care professionals are ready to help. 

treatment for Heat Exhaustion

Baptist Health Emergency Room & Urgent Care Navarre comprises board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses that deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room in Navarre can provide effective treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays and ultrasound.