In our last blog post, we covered the dangers of living inside a hot house. As part of that blog, we mentioned the risk of heat exhaustion. As temperatures rise during the summer months, and across the globe more generally, it’s important to be aware of the effects of heat on your body. So, to ensure that our customers are staying happy and healthy during summertime, Legacy AC and Heating Services will outline the signs of heat-related illnesses.
What Is Heat Illness?
When many people first hear about heat illness, they react with some shock. While many people have experienced a sunburn, many people don’t realize that they’ve likely experienced some form of heat illness at some point in their lives. Generally speaking, heat illness is a series of disorders that are related to exposure to heat. You might have experienced a mild form of heat illness after spending too much time playing outside in the sun, or after just feeling too hot for too long. There are several forms of heat illness, some more severe than others.
Many know what a sunburn is, and how it’s formed. Your skin reacts to the UV radiation in sunlight. When you stay in the sun for too long without protection like sunscreen or clothing, your skin absorbs too much UV radiation and darkens and turns red. The redness and darkened skin is the result of your skin’s DNA change in response to the UV. While a minor sunburn may not feel too bad, more severe sunburns can lead to feelings of dizziness, and fatigue, with the burn itself being hot to the touch.
If you’ve ever been playing an active sport out in the hot summer sunshine and felt your muscles seize, you might be experiencing a heat cramp. As you sweat, your body expends fluids and electrolytes to keep you cool. But if you do not replenish these, your muscles may begin to cramp.
Heat exhaustion occurs when you’ve exerted yourself physically for an extended period of time in an already hot environment. Your body will begin to sweat heavily, and despite the heat your skin will feel cold to the touch, you’ll feel tired, weak, dizzy, and you may pass out. At this stage of heat illness, if you are vomiting, or these symptoms get worse over a short period of time, you should seek immediate medical assistance.
Heat stroke is an exacerbated form of heat exhaustion and is an immediate threat to your life. Heat stroke occurs when your body temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Left untreated, heat stroke can lead to kidney, and muscle failure, as well as heart failure, and brain damage. Those suffering from heat stroke should contact 911 immediately.
All of these illnesses can be avoided if you limit your time in the sun, wear sunscreen, drink cool drinks throughout the day, and stay in the shade whenever possible. Of course, you can cool down fast with an air conditioning unit in your home. If you’re in need of air conditioner repairs in your New Braunfels’ home, Call the pros at Legacy AC and Heating Services!