Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke

Decisions to Save Your Life: Heat Exhaustion vs Heat Stroke

If you’ve ever experienced a summer in Texas then you know it brings the heat, but how dangerous can it really be? Extreme heat or vigorous activity in the hot sun can lead to heat illnesses such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Learning the differences, symptoms and how to react could help save you or someone else’s life this summer.

Differences in Symptoms

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very dangerous and the symptoms for these heat illnesses can seem very similar. The main difference in symptoms is heat stroke may cause neurological dysfunction, while heat exhaustion does not cause any mental disturbance.  It is best to get out of the heat, drink plenty of water and rest immediately.

Heat Exhaustion:

It is important to recognize these symptoms. Failure to acknowledge symptoms of heat exhaustion are what enables the quick progression of a heat stroke.

  • Dehydration
  • Profuse Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Weakness

Heat Stroke:

Although they can seem very similar, heat stroke most certainly has the greatest risks to a person’s health. Heat strokes can cause organ failure and even death. If you begin to experience any heat stroke symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

  • A person’s temperature is very high, usually over 104 degrees.
  • A person may experience neurological dysfunctions: confusion, agitation, delirium, seizures and coma.

Knowing when and how to act when these heat illnesses arise can help save a life. If you or someone around you is experiencing these symptoms don’t wait! Get out of the heat and seek medical attention immediately. Talk to your doctor about extra precautions to take to protect yourself this summer.

Dr. Lin Du and the team at Lake Pointe Medical Center are here to help with any and all questions you may have this summer regarding heat illnesses. For more information on how to protect yourself please visit: www.lakepointemedical.com



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