Summer is Here: How are Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke Different?

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Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan has its fair share of thunderstorms during the summer months. It also feels the cooler, crisper Canadian air that cold fronts occasionally bring in. Nevertheless, we are no stranger to a humid continental climate.

In fact, the combination of high temperatures and elevated humidity may result in heat exhaustion and heatstroke among locals. Both are heat-related conditions, but they are not the same thing.

Heat Exhaustion is a Preventable Heat-Related Condition

Heat exhaustion often occurs because of exposure to high temperatures and humidity combined with strenuous physical activity. Dehydration and overdressing may trigger the condition.

Symptoms include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, faintness, fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea, and a rapid pulse. When you experience any of these symptoms, take some time-off to rest, move to a cooler area, and drink a cool beverage. The condition is preventable as long as you stay cool and dehydrated. But visit the doctor if symptoms do not subside or if they get worse.

A Heatstroke Is the Most Serious Heat-Related Condition

A heatstroke may occur because of prolonged exposure to a hot environment or because of strenuous physical activity in high temperatures. Dehydration, excessive clothing, and alcohol consumption may trigger the condition.

Symptoms include high body temperature, altered behavior or mental state, racing pulse, rapid breathing, flushed skin, nausea, and headache. You may simply take a rest in a cool area when experiencing heat exhaustion, but a heatstroke requires immediate medical attention. The latter may cause long-term damage to organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys, making it a more serious condition.

Nobody can control natural temperature and humidity, but you can address it in your Indiana or Michigan home by installing an air conditioning system to keep the house cool and to minimize the risk of heat-related conditions. If you already have a system, call Home Comfort Experts to tune up your air conditioner and reset it to factory-like conditions.

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