Heat-related illnesses, telling the difference

Heat-related illnesses, telling the difference

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - This summer is hot and this week has been unbearable. With temperatures as high as they are, it is important to know if you are suffering from a heat-related illness.

With there being multiple types of heat-related illnesses, however, it's hard to know which one is which.

Dr. Jason Paxton, a medical physician at St. Bernards, deals with these illnesses on a regular basis, especially during heat waves.

Heat exhaustion, heat injuries and heat strokes are the most common, but, fortunately, they can be avoided.

"The biggest warning I give to people is, that if you are feeling light-headed and you are out in the heat, then get back into somewhere that is cool and air-conditioned and drink plenty of water," said Dr. Paxton. "These symptoms can range from handicapping you to making you pass out even, up to even killing a person, theoretically."

Dr. Paxton noted that when someone is dealing with heat exhaustion, their body temperature can reach between 101 and 104 degrees. The good news is, some water and cool air will do the trick.

Heat injuries and strokes are more serious, however.

Hospitalization is usually required with these as they can be fatal. Seizures, confusion, neurological damage and/or kidney damage are all symptoms of heat strokes.

Dr. Paxton also mentioned that the bodies of those who work outdoors on a regular basis are a little more acclimated to the unbearable heat, but for those who are just spending the day at the lake or doing yard work outside, extra caution is necessary.

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