Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion: The signs and treatments

Local News

(WETM) – The heat and humidity is here and it plans on sticking around. Relief is in sight for the heat but the humidity will hold strong into the weekend. Temperatures have climbed into the 90s the last couple of days and we face another day of 90s across the Twin Tiers for Tuesday. During these hot periods, it is important to watch your health as heat exhaustion and heatstroke can potentially set in. I spoke to the chair of emergency medicine, Dr. Jeremy Lux, about heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

“Heat exhaustion is when you’re starting to get the symptoms of you’re getting a little bit behind on fluids, you’re getting a little bit dehydrated, and you’re getting a little bit too hot. So heatstroke, that’s when somebody might start getting confused; altered mental status is a hallmark of when you go into heat stroke, you’re getting into a dangerous medical emergency at that point, and you need to be cooling off immediately.”

Treatment for heat exhaustion is cooling off and getting hydrated while heatstroke requires medical attention. When getting hydrated, water is best. Sodas and high caffeinated beverages are not good for getting hydrated. Lux says alcohol is the worst option since it actually dehydrates you. Staying hydrated, limiting time outdoors, and finding some place cool to go to beat the heat are the best ways to combat the hot weather we have been seeing.

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