Sunstroke: Symptoms And Remedies
Prolonged exposure to the sun or to an overheated atmosphere can cause serious problems called sunstroke or heat stroke. We suggest that you discover the symptoms of this condition and what to do in the event of sunstroke.
Insulation and heat stroke
Insolation is an abnormal rise in body temperature (or 'hyperthermia') due to prolonged exposure to the sun.
It is distinguished from other forms of body temperature derangement:
- the heat stroke caused by exposure to ambient heat (heat wave, overheated atmosphere)
- the exercise or exertional heat stroke related to intense exertion in an overly hot and humid environment.
The resulting disorders can range from exhaustion to heat stroke itself.
These are serious conditions with risks of brain complications and death above 41.5°C.
What are the symptoms?
Sunstroke, which is directly related to the sun's radiation on the head and neck, results in a feeling of heat on the face associated with headaches.
It can be accompanied by a feeling of uneasiness, chest tightness, tachycardia, but also nausea, drowsiness and ringing in the ears.
This condition causes high fever and a dangerous self-maintaining temperature phenomenon, such that the fever is resistant to usual treatments (such as aspirin and paracetamol).
It also leads to dehydration related to both the sun and the fever.
Sunstroke can occur very quickly in infants and the elderly, in periods of high heat.
It also affects athletes who do not hydrate sufficiently to compensate for water loss due to sweating.
Prevention consists in :
- avoiding exercise during the hottest hours
- avoiding napping in the sun, especially after meals
- Wear light, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing when in the sun
- Protect your head with a cap or a white hat
- Wet your forehead and the back of your neck regularly
- Drink often, even before you feel thirsty, and remember to give your children something to drink
- Avoid alcoholic beverages, which increase water loss.
What to do in case of sunstroke?
Insulation and heat stroke must be treated quickly to avoid neurological damage.
Treatment consists of lying down in a cool and ventilated place and cooling (including putting the person in the shower with relatively cold water or wetting them thoroughly while their body remains warm).
It is also necessary to rehydrate her by having her drink cool, non-ice water.
In the most severe cases, it is essential to call the emergency services, but while waiting for hospitalization, cooling the person is an essential gesture.