As the temperature rises in the summer, so does the risk of heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Experts at Mayo Clinic, the world-famous hospital in the US state of Minnesota, say it’s important to recognise the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses, and learn how to prevent them.
Your body is like a car’s engine. If it starts to overheat, the warning light goes on. And that is heat exhaustion.
“Which is where you feel nauseous or dizzy. You just don’t feel right, and you’re sweating profusely,” says Dr Neha Raukar, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine doctor.
Anyone at any age can suffer from heat exhaustion. High temperatures, particularly when paired with high humidity, are the primary cause.
“Ways to prevent it include hydrating a lot, dressing appropriately for the weather, going into an air-conditioned place when you don’t feel quite right, taking breaks if you’re outside working,” she says.
Without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition that requires emergency medical attention.
“The management of heatstroke is giving them fluids and dunking them into a cool, ice water bath as quickly as possible,” says Dr Raukar.
A common symptom of heatstroke is an altered mental state or behaviour.
“The pearl, I always say, is to look for confusion. If they are confused, they are having heatstroke,” she says. “If anybody is in the heat and they’re feeling nauseous and just not quite right, they should take a break, hydrate with cool water, and just sit down for a little bit and let their body cool down.”