Sunstroke, symptoms and treatment

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Sunstroke and heatstroke are quite common conditions in the summer months. The heat and prolonged exposure to the sun, although it is something we all look for and enjoy now in the summer, can be dangerous if we are not careful and do not take the necessary precautions.

What is sunstroke?

Sunstroke is the most common type of heat stroke. It is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun (thermal radiation), which can often lead to heat exhaustion. Usually, there is an increase in body temperature due to inability to regulate it, resulting in overheating of the body.

Normally the body has certain mechanisms which it mobilizes to compensate for the increased ambient temperature and to avoid the increase of its internal temperature. These mechanisms include an increase in the diameter of the vessels, an increase in the rate of respiration and intense sweating. All of the above helps the body to cool down and quickly dissipate heat, thus maintaining the normal body temperature around 36.6 ° C.

In the case of sunstroke due to high and prolonged exposure to high temperature and increased humidity, the body is unable to regulate its internal temperature. Sweat, which normally cools the body due to high humidity, is unable to evaporate and so the body can no longer cool down. The result is an increase in body temperature and headaches and fever and a number of other symptoms.

What are the symptoms of sunstroke?

The symptoms of sunstroke, depending on the severity of the sunstroke, can last up to 2 days. However, the body is likely to recover from sunstroke from 2 months to 1 year [1]. The symptoms, due to the inability of the body’s thermoregulatory mechanisms to function, are:

  • Fever
  • Ten and a headache
  • Dry skin
  • Tachycardia
  • Sweating problems
  • Cramps
  • Fast breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Motion sickness
  • Vomiting

In extreme cases and if not treated and treated in time, sunburn can become dangerous, causing damage to the nervous system and vital functions. Extreme symptoms of severe sunstroke include confusion, convulsions, nervousness, nausea, confusion of speech and perception, hallucinations, loss of consciousness and dizziness.

Risk groups

Although everyone is at high risk for sunstroke after prolonged exposure, there are certain groups of people who are more vulnerable and should be given more attention, such as the elderly, children, people with cardiovascular problems, cystic fibrosis or diabetes.

Sunstroke prevention

In case there is any doubt or any symptom that refers to the sun, then:

  • Stay away from the sun and approach a cool and shady place. Ideally choose a place with air conditioning.
  • Take care of immediate hydration by consuming plenty of water.
  • Cool the neck, face and body in general with cold cloths.
  • Lie down and lift your head slightly.
  • Choose a cool bath and then keep your body adequately hydrated by consuming plenty of fluids, fruits and vegetables.
  • Sun prevention

In any case, the best treatment is prevention. To avoid sunstroke and heatstroke, it is important to follow some guidelines during the summer months so that your body maintains its normal temperature.

  • Try not to be exposed to the sun for many hours.
  • Take care of your clothes, choose light and light colored clothes.
  • Regularly moisturize your body. Consumption of caffeine and alcoholic beverages do not help hydrate the body.
  • You can take electrolytes, which produce energy and contribute to better hydration of the body.
  • It is equally important to follow a moisturizing diet, which will include lots of fruits and vegetables, preferably watermelon, melon and cucumbers.
  • Exercise outdoors at high temperature is best avoided.

So for a pleasant and safe vacation, do not expose yourself too much to the sun and avoid the noon hours of exposure, where the ambient temperature is very high.


  1. Heat Stroke (Hyperthermia)

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