What is the Difference Between Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion?

Caregivers in Hinsdale IL

Caregivers in Hinsdale ILAs the weather begins to get hotter, family caregivers should take care to actively help their elderly loved ones to prevent heat-related illness. Getting too hot is not just uncomfortable, it can cause serious illness, especially in the elderly whose bodies do not regulate temperature as well as younger adults do. Since elderly adults are at an increased risk for heat-related illnesses, caregivers should be able to spot the signs and no what to do if a heat-related illness does affect their loved one. In addition, caregivers should also take the steps to help their loved one to prevent heat-related illness. Two very serious heat-related illnesses are heat stroke and heat exhaustion, but many people do not know the difference between the two. The fact is that these are two different conditions that are related and both conditions should be take very seriously when they occur in elderly adults. Read on to learn more about the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Heat Stroke:

Heat stroke is a life-threatening heat-related illness that is a medical emergency. In the case of heat stroke, body temperature will rise to 104-106 degrees and possibly keep climbing. Heat stroke is caused by exposure to very hot temperatures in conjunction with dehydration. During heat stroke, the body is unable to control body temperature. With heat stroke, a person may experience dizziness, fainting, vomiting, nausea, seizures, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, confusion, muscle weakness, headache, red skin, and unconsciousness. If you suspect your loved one is having the symptoms of heat stroke, you must call 911 immediately.

Heat Exhaustion:

Many times heat exhaustion will precede heat stroke. Like heat stroke, it is caused by the combination of exposure to high temperatures and dehydration. Though it is not as serious as heat stroke, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke if left untreated. For this reason, it is important to help your loved one to cool down and get out of the heat immediately if the are experiencing heat exhaustion. And, if you are concerned about their heat exhaustion progressing, you should seek medical attention. The signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and fainting.

To prevent heat-related illness in your elderly loved one, encourage them to limit their time outdoors in hot weather, drink plenty of water, and wear lightweight clothing outdoors.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/understanding-heat-related-illness-symptoms

For caregivers in Hinsdale, IL, call 708-761-4909. Serving La Grange, Oakbrook, Oakbrook Terrace, Brookfield, Westchester, Downers Grove, Berwyn, River Forest, Oak Park, Hinsdale, Chicago and surrounding communities.

About Joan Cisneros LPN

Joan Cisneros is COO and Agency Manager at Private Home Care Services of Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Joan has over 25 years of professional healthcare experience, including Private Duty Home Care, nursing, insurance, case management, training, and operations. Her area of expertise is Alzheimer¹s care, which she knows from both a professional and personal perspective. Her solid capabilities are enhanced by her compassionate approach and her personal mission to help people maintain their independence by providing the best possible home care.