8 Common Heat Stroke Signs and Symptoms

8 Common Heat Stroke Signs and Symptoms

How hot is too hot for you? For some, the temperature outside can be a lot more bearable than the temperature inside, which is especially true for tenants in apartment buildings where the superintendents crank up the heat anytime the temperature dips below 10 degrees!

A heat stroke can happen inside or outside – it doesn’t matter. What matters is identifying it. But how?

Here are eight common heat stroke signs and symptoms:

1. Difficulty Breathing

When your body is overheated and the heat continues to affect you, it will inevitably become harder to breathe. This is a lot more common inside than outside, hence why we either feel inclined to be in the cool air during a warmer-than-normal party or recommended to get some fresh air.

Indeed, a couple of minutes outside after being confined to heat – or, of course, a few minutes inside cool air after being outside in the heat for a duration of time – will instantly cool you off.

2. Change in Behaviour

You’re so hot that you just want to jump into an ice-cold bath or lake. You can’t, so you will instead take it out on others because you’re completely agitated by everything surrounding you. The people, the animals, the noise, the whatever – you’re going to be frustrated by everything.

In addition to your agitation, you might experience several other behavioural changes as you go through a heat stroke. You might be confused, you could feel disoriented, and you may get to the point that you start hallucinating.

Oh, look there’s Humphrey Bogart and Rita Hayworth standing near a blackjack table! Never mind. That’s just a mirage.

3. The Absence of Sweat

Wait a minute…you’re hot but you’re not sweating? You might find this odd, but it is one of the top symptoms that you’re suffering a heat stroke. Typically, whenever your body is hot, sweat will come pouring out, but not when you’re enduring a heat stroke, which can make it a lot worse!

4. High Body Temperature

One of the most uncomfortable things to happen to you is a high body temperature. It makes you want to spend time in the freezer or cover yourself with ice packs. When you’re going through a heat stroke, you could quash the surging temperatures almost immediately or it might take some time, depending on how you’re rectifying the situation. If you are working outside for a long period of time, you should consider wearing a personal cooler on your body to keep the temperature low.

5. Physical Exertion

Before you know it, you begin to stagger around as you attempt to stand up and walk. The last thing you should do during a heat stroke is to try to do too much physical exertion. That way, you can allow your body to rest just a bit and recuperate.

6. Dizzy

So, why are you staggering? It’s because you’re dizzy. This is an uncomfortable feeling. It feels like you have been spinning around for the last five minutes or you were witness to an earthquake. It’s terrible. That’s what a heat stroke does to you.

7. Rapid Heartbeat

Your heart is racing as if you just ran 10 miles at the speed of light. This could either be your body sending you a message or it could be you being in distress by the growing heat. The only way to reduce the rapid heartbeat is to calm down, take a deep breath, and gradually cool down.

8. Bad Headache

If you’re in the sun for too long, you will suffer a throbbing headache. Why do you think we’re supposed to wear hats in the summer? It’s meant to shield our heads from the hot sun, otherwise we will get a terrible headache and unable to cope throughout the rest of the day.

If you are suffering from heat stroke signs, here are three tips for relief:

  • Crank Up the A/C: When you’re too hot, you have one of two options. The first is to run into a shopping mall or a movie theatre and relish in the air conditioner. The second is to crank up your own air conditioner in your home. Both ways will allow you to let off some steam.
  • Take a Cold Shower: This will send shockwaves throughout your entire body: hopping into a cold shower when having a heat stroke. The sudden ice-cold water hitting your entire organ. Yikes! But it will work within moments and you will forget all about the heat stroke because you’re too focused on the cold, cold water.
  • Hydrate Your Body: All the experts regularly say – even meteorologists when they’re discussing the weather forecast – keep hydrated. This works and it is essential. So, rather than drinking a hot coffee or avoid beverages all together, it would be safe to hydrate your body by drinking plenty of water the entire day. Yes, you will inevitably have to make several trips to the bathroom, but you’ll sweat it out. Or, you can take comfort in the fact that at least it’s better than suffering a heat stroke!

There is the dry heat that you’d experience in Arizona or in the Sahara Desert and then there is the heat that Torontonians get to enjoy: muggy, uncomfortable, and gross. The latter can have more of a negative effect on you than the dry heat. That said, you will always want to keep cool no matter what soaring temperatures your part of the globe is enduring.


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