Every year, there are more Americans in the U.S. die from extreme temperatures than from lightning strikes, hurricanes storms, tornadoes and floods and earthquakes all together as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trusted Source (CDC).

The continuing climate change has disrupted weather patterns across the U.S., with multiple cities declaring emergency temperatures in the last few days.

The effects of heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be fatal if temperatures increase and it’s crucial to understand the warning signs of symptoms and to aid yourself or others when you experience heat-related illness.

What is what is the distinction between heat exhaustion vs. heat stroke?

Dr. Adam Rivadeneyra, a sports medicine physician at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Southern California and told Healthline it is an “continuum,” with heatstroke with neurologic issues, such as seizures or loss of consciousness.

The Trusted Source of the CDC defines heat exhaustion as an “milder type” of heat-related illness which can develop following a period of exposure to extreme temperatures and unbalanced or insufficient refill of fluids.

The agency explained, is when the body cannot longer control its temperature in order to allow it to cool down.

In between 10 and 15 minutes, the temperature of your body can reach temperatures of 106 degrees Fahrenheit or more and, if not treated urgently the condition could result in fatality or even permanent disabilities.

Signs to look for

Dr. Theodore Strange, chair of medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, part of Northwell Health in New York said that our body temperature is typically controlled to remain at around 97-99 degrees Fahrenheit.

He also said that it’s “concerning” when a person’s temperature goes over the temperature of 104 degrees.

Strange claimed that there are three types of heat-related injury that you should be aware of: heat cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Signs and signs of exhaustion can appear suddenly or gradually,” he cautioned. “Especially during prolonged periods of exercising.”

According to Strange the possible symptoms and signs of heat-related illness could include a dry, cool skin that has goose bumps you are in hot weather, and:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Affirmations
  • A weak, fast pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

“Children are more at chance of developing heat-related illnesses because of the smaller area that their skin has, making it difficult to remove heat through sweating” said Rivadeneyra

Preventing heat illness

Strange stated, “the best prevention” is to not engage in strenuous exercise or sports during the hottest time of the day, or under direct sunlight.

“A should be sure to consume plenty of fluids prior to and after your activities, that include water as well as electrolyte drinks” the doctor advised.

He mentioned that young and elderly people need to be extra cautious, since their bodies lack the ability to regulate to temperatures that are extremely high.

Strange stated steps we can use to lessen the chance of suffering from heat stroke or exhaustion are:

  • Wearing lighter, looser clothes to reduce scorching heat
  • Avoid heavy and alcoholic meals.
  • Beware of sunburn

The disruptions to energy supply have made things even worse

In the words of Houston Public Media, Texans are being asked to save energy, even as the state is experiencing scorching temperatures.

This week last week, it was reported that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) demanded residents in the state to conserve electricity in the region as it continues to exceed power consumption levels.

ERCOT has urged Texans to increase their thermostats to 78 degrees and avoid making use of big appliances, as part of an effort to prevent rolling blackouts.

“The main issue they have to face is that the bulk of this capacity isn’t transferable,” Kevin Jones, PhD, associate professor at the The University of Houston Downtown’s College of Business, said in the announcement.

“In the sense of the sources of generation, especially wind, can’t be accessed immediately upon demand,” he explained. “For instance, when it’s the temperature is extremely hot, however, there’s no wind, then you’ll not be able to depend on the wind turbine to produce the energy you need to power the grid.”

How can you help anyone suffering from heat disease

If you observe someone who is suffering from heat stress The Red Cross recommends following these steps:

  • If they’re having trouble concentrating or vomiting, call immediately 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Transfer the person to a climate-controlled or shaded space
  • Offer cool water to them that so that they can drink it slowly
  • Apply cold or ice-cold towels on the neck, head and groin area, wrists, lower arms and ankles.

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Rivadeneyra stated that submerging an individual with cold water would be the “best method” to cool them quickly.

If you do not have air conditioning

“Heat waves could also trigger power interruptions,” Ariane Einecker, interim CEO of the American Red Cross North Texas Region In the release.

The author said that when this happens there should be plans to travel to a place where air conditioning is accessible until the power is restored.

The Red Cross advises anyone without access to air cooling seeking relief during the hottest time of the day at areas like libraries, schools and theaters as well as malls.

Jane Gilbert, chief heat officer for Miami-Dade County, told CNN that people who don’t have air conditioning can stay cool by opening their windows as well as using fans and placing cold towels around their necks.

Bottom line

Excessive heat exposure can cause heat-related illness that could result in heatstroke.

Experts warn that it’s a problem when body temperatures rise to the temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

The same report suggests that those without air conditioning ought to seek out relief from the heat in areas such as malls, schools and libraries.


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