Heat exhaustion is a heat-related injury that can occur in the body after you've been exposed to high temperatures just like heat stroke, however heat exhaustion is not life threatening and it often is accompanied by dehydration.
There are two types of heat exhaustion that a person might experience:
Water depletion. Signs include excessive thirst, weakness, headache, and loss of consciousness.
Salt depletion. Signs include nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, and dizziness.
Without proper intervention, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs, and even cause death.
Treatment for Heat Exhaustion
If you, or anyone else, experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion, it's important to immediately remover yourself or the person of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room.
If you can't get inside a cool room, try to find the nearest cool and shady place, maybe under a tree.
Other recommended strategies include:
Drink plenty of fluid, such as water.
Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing.
Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.
Apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.
If such measures fail to provide relief within 15 minutes, seek medical help, because untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.
After a person has recovered from heat exhaustion, they will probably be more sensitive to high temperatures during the following week.
Risk Factors for Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is highly related to the heat index. This is a measurement of how hot you feel when the effects of relative humidity and air temperature are combined.
The risk of heat-related injuries dramatically increases when the heat index climbs to 40 degrees or more. So it's important, especially during heat waves, to pay attention to the reported heat index provided by BOM or the local weather station, and also to remember that the heat index is even higher when you are standing in full sunshine
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