It is essential to identify the signs and symptoms of sunstroke as it can be a life-threatening condition. This article will give you information on causes, symptoms, and treatment of sunstroke in detail.
Sunstroke is a condition that develops when the body cannot control the temperature of the body. It occurs when the body is exposed to excess heat. Although the symptoms are same, sunstroke is more severe than heatstroke and often, considered as a life-threatening condition.
The human body comprises a thermostat that regulates the temperature variations by controlling the supply of heat. Sometimes, when the body is exposed to excess heat, the body’s cooling system fails. Therefore, exposure to excess temperature, heat, sun, is the most significant cause of sunstroke. Secondly, excess dehydration also results in sunstroke. Dehydration arises due to loss of fluids, caused due to excess urination or perspiration.
If a person does not drink adequate amounts of water, the body takes up water from the bloodstream. This affects the functioning of the heat-regulating system as well as that of the heart. One should remember that sitting in the scorching sun for a long time, without drinking adequate amounts of water, can lead to sunstroke.
Mild sunstroke symptoms include dry, red, and scaly skin due to loss of water from the body. Excessive perspiration is also one of the major symptoms. However, one should note that excessive perspiration leads to dehydration, and once the body is excessively dehydrated, perspiration stops.
- Rapid pulse rate
- High fever
- Rise in body temperature
Sometimes, sunburn is observed along with the aforementioned symptoms. On the other hand, urine color may darken due to excess dehydration. It is observed that children and older people are more prone to sunstroke, than young adults.
Lowering the body temperature is the primary treatment of sunstroke. The patient is asked to have a bath with cool water or is covered in cool towels to lower the temperature. Ice packs are also used for the same purpose. Secondly, it is essential to treat dehydration by drinking water or electrolytic fluids. In case of severe dehydration, intravenous (IV) fluids may be required. Once the temperature is lowered and dehydration is treated, the doctor may prescribe medications to treat other symptoms.
This condition can be avoided by following simple preventive measures. Firstly, you should avoid being exposed to excessive heat. Secondly, it is essential to drink lots of water at regular intervals in summer (even when one does not feel thirsty) in order to keep the body hydrated. Lastly, it is necessary to wear clothing suitable for summer, and also avoid excess physical activity in the heat to prevent sunstroke.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.