Sunstroke Symptoms and Treatment

Sunstroke, a person in quite a warm and sunny environment to work in, is a condition that can be caused by exercising or just passing time. Sunstroke, also known as heatstroke, is a condition that requires immediate medical attention, so you need to be conscious.

Especially in the summer months, there are cases of sunstroke due to the high temperature and average humidity. Sunstroke, which can affect individuals of all ages, including children and infants, manifests itself with symptoms such as high fever, nausea, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. Permanent damage can be prevented if the individuals whose body temperature is at an abnormal level are intervened immediately with first aid applications.

What is Sunstroke?


The increase in body temperature to abnormal levels due to excessive exposure to sunlight at high temperatures, especially in the summer months when the sun’s rays come at the steepest angle, is called sunstroke. High temperature, which negatively affects the body mechanism and systems, is more common, especially at noon. The heat, which is even more effective in the air where there is no wind, can cause permanent destruction and even death by disrupting the body’s sweating or water loss mechanism.

In very hot weather, the body uses the sweating method in order to maintain its current temperature. Insufficient sweating causes sodium and chlorine loss in the body, resulting in sunstroke.

Although the most important cause of sunstroke is high temperature, humidity is also one of the effective factors. Sunstroke, which is generally seen at temperatures above 40°C, affects individuals due to high humidity at lower temperatures. In addition, using thick clothes in hot weather, drinking alcohol in the sun, and consuming too much food at once can cause sunstroke.

Although sunstroke is seen in every age group, some age ranges are in the risk group. Sunstroke cases are more common in children under the age of 4 and individuals over the age of 65. At the same time, kidney failure, high blood pressure (hypertension), cancer, obesity patients, people with chronic diseases, and individuals with various psychological disorders are also in the risk group. Pregnant women should also take precautions against sunstroke at high temperatures.

Sunstroke Symptoms and Treatment

What are the Types of Sunstroke?


Heat-related summer discomfort is a broad definition that encompasses many different situations. Heat-related ailments ranging from heat exhaustion to life-threatening cases of sunstroke can result in damage to internal organs if proper medical attention is not taken. The brain, heart, kidneys, and muscle tissue are among the organs that can be damaged in untreated sunstroke cases. As treatment continues to be delayed, there may be an increased risk of developing more serious complications and devastating consequences such as death.

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Sunstroke Symptoms


Sunstroke manifests itself with symptoms commonly seen in the first stage, such as nausea, vomiting, high fever, and headache. In cases where it is not intervened, different and more severe sunstroke symptoms occur. Symptoms such as convulsions, rashes on the skin, and difficulty in breathing, especially when the fever rises above 40°C, are called a hot coma.

Sunstroke, which can be very dangerous in the advanced stage and cause the death of individuals, can cause permanent damage to the nervous system.

Common symptoms of sunstroke are as follows:

  • Fever above 40°C,
  • skin rashes,
  • Absence of sweating on the body,
  • heart palpitations,
  • Hypotension,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • Severe headache,
  • Difficulty in breathing,
  • loss of consciousness,
  • desire to sleep
  • Dryness in the mouth and lips
  • Drying on the skin surface,
  • Balance disorders and difficulty in walking,
  • mood imbalances,
  • Seizures and coma.

Common symptoms of sunstroke in children and infants younger than 4-5 years of age are nausea, vomiting, desire to sleep, and high fever.

Sunstroke Symptoms and Treatment

What Causes Sunstroke?


The answers to the question of what causes sunstroke can be basically divided into two categories. In the first case, which is expressed as effort-related sunstroke, intense physical activity in hot environments is effective in the formation of sunstroke. Sunstroke that occurs in this way is observed especially in individuals who are not accustomed to working in hot environments. The occurrence of heat-related cases in sporting events occurs approximately 10 times more than in cases caused by heart problems. In classical sunstroke cases that are not effort-related, the main reason for the development of this condition is exposure to hot environments. Spending a long time in the air with high humidity levels is the main reason for classical sunstroke.

In both types of sunstroke cases, wrong practices such as dressing in multiple layers, alcohol consumption, and not replacing the fluid loss due to sweating can be effective. The regulation of body temperature in extreme temperatures is a process controlled by the central nervous system. Neural structures dealing with this task in younger age groups are still in the developmental stage. In individuals older than 65 years, some loss of central nervous system functions occurs. Therefore, if the fluid losses that may occur in these two age groups are not replaced correctly, there may be a predisposition to sunstroke, so it is useful to be careful.

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How Is Sun Stroke Diagnosed?


In the diagnostic approach to sunstroke, the vital functions of the patient, who is suspected of this condition, are monitored and followed closely. Then, complete blood count, coagulation parameters, blood gas, serum creatine kinase level, and investigation of the presence of myoglobin in the urine are among the other tests that can be applied. In general, people who develop sunstroke are found to have accelerated breathing and increased heart rate.

The level of sodium, potassium and respiratory gases examined in blood tests may be useful in clarifying whether the central nervous system is affected. Darkening of the urine color is another condition that may occur due to sunstroke, and this event is important as it may indicate that kidney functions are affected. Serum creatine kinase level is a finding indicating that muscle tissue is damaged due to sunstroke. Various imaging methods can also be used to elucidate how other organs are affected.

Sunstroke Treatment


The first 30 minutes after sunstroke is very critical for patients. In cases where the temperature of patients with very high body temperature cannot be reduced to at least 38.5°C, patients may die. However, permanent loss of liver and kidney function is also seen in surviving patients.

After the first aid applications, the body temperatures and blood pressures of the patients who are brought to the health institution are measured first. Body temperature is based on rectal temperature. Then, blood and urine analyzes are performed to determine the electrolyte, salt, and fluid levels of the patients. According to the results of the analysis, fluid therapy is started.

How Many Days Does a Sunstroke Last?

One of the points that people who are treated for sunstroke wonder about is how many days does sunstroke last. Hospitalization of patients and application of fluid therapy take an average of 1 day. Body temperature is constantly controlled and it is ensured that no complications occur. Lowering body temperature is essential in treatment. After the treatment, even if the temperature returns to normal and no other complication is observed, it may take up to 1 week for the sensitivity to disappear.

However, this process may take longer against the risks of some complications. Especially against the risk of kidney failure, patients should go to regular checkups for a few weeks determined by the doctors. During the controls, besides kidney failure, the body temperature and fluid and salt balance of the patients are also checked.

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How does a sunstroke go?


Sunstroke can be seen in people who are exposed to high-temperature air and sun rays too much. It is necessary to know what to do in case of sunstroke, which can cause permanent damage and fatal results if not intervened. For this reason, most people are researching what sunstroke is good for.

Sunstroke first aid applications are essential in the intervention of the patient in the first stage. First of all, the affected individuals should be immediately moved to a cool and shaded or air-conditioned place where sunlight and hot air are not affected. Thick clothing and accessories such as ties, if any, that may cause the patient to suffocate or suffocate should be removed. Laying the patients on their side is also an important point during first aid, as most people who experience sunstroke show vomiting symptoms.

After the patients are moved to a cool place, their body temperature should be lowered. For this, cold compresses can be applied to areas such as the head, chest, and armpits. In order to increase the direction of blood flow and tension, it is beneficial to raise the feet to a high point from the ground. Patients who have not lost consciousness yet should be given fluids, especially water. Unconscious patients should not be given fluids and should be referred to a health institution immediately.

Some methods should not be applied to individuals who show signs of sunstroke. Among the wrong practices are frequently making colognes with alcohol content, giving solid foods, and trying to make unconscious patients drink water.

Sunstroke Symptoms and Treatment

Sunstroke in Children & Babies


The skin of children and babies under the age of 4-5 is much more sensitive to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun than adults. Therefore, sunstroke in children and infants is more common in hot summer months. However, it is possible to protect children from sunstroke by taking some precautions.

First of all, one of the precautions to be taken is the use of sunscreen. Using high factor protective cream 15-30 before children go out is one of the precautions to be taken. Most sunscreens last for several hours. For this reason, the cream should be renewed in children who will spend more time outside and under the sun than this time.

There are some points that parents should pay attention to when choosing sunscreen. Some children may develop allergies to the active ingredients of sunscreen. For this reason, it would be useful to test the sunscreen on a small area beforehand. It is recommended to use sunscreen with the recommendation of a doctor, especially for babies under 1 year old. It is sufficient to use sunscreen with a factor of 50 for babies and very light-skinned children, and a factor of 30 for dark-skinned children.

One of the measures to be taken shows itself in the choice of clothes. Babies and children should use cotton and light-colored clothes in hot weather and these clothes should be changed at regular intervals in case of sweating. At the same time, it is essential to compensate for the loss of fluid caused by sweating with water.

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Sunstroke Effects


Effects of sunstroke; It varies from person to person according to the age of the patients, their general health status, the time spent under the sun’s rays, and the height of the air temperature. However, regardless of age, individuals with sunstroke can cause serious complications and even die if not treated immediately.

The most common initial symptoms of heatstroke are nausea and vomiting, high fever, and headache. Especially because of long-lasting headaches, most people research how sunstroke headache goes away after treatment. Headache can be cured with painkillers to be used under the control of a doctor as well as natural methods.

Sunstroke, chills, and chills are also common. The body, whose temperature rises with the impact of the impact, tries to cool itself; In this case, chills, tremors, and even seizures occur in some cases.

Along with these first-stage symptoms, permanent complications and disabilities are also observed, especially in patients with loss of consciousness and seizures. Kidney and heart failure, pulmonary edema, and coma are among the most serious effects of sunstroke. Such serious complications are seen especially in patients who are not diagnosed early and intervention and treatment are delayed.

What should be done to prevent sunstroke?


There are many protection methods that can be done to protect adults and children from sunstroke and its symptoms. Some of these methods are:

  • You should not stay under the sunlight unless it is necessary during the noon times when the sun comes at the steepest angle,
  • Products that protect the skin, such as sunscreen, should be used when going out, especially during the hours when the effect of the sun is felt.
  • In addition to sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and umbrellas should be used to protect especially the head area,
  • Avoid doing heavy exercise in very hot weather,
  • The shower should be taken at every opportunity,
  • It should not be in closed areas such as a vehicle under sunlight,
  • At least 2-3 liters of water or liquid should be consumed during the day,
  • Thin, light, and light-colored clothes that will reflect sunlight should be preferred,
  • Foods that are easy to digest should be consumed instead of foods high in fat.

The page content is for informational purposes only. The content of the page does not include items containing information on therapeutic health care. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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