x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are different

Two afflictions have different causes but similar preventions.

Two common afflictions during the hot UAE summer are heat stroke and heat exhaustion, but the two are quite different.

Heat stroke is most common among those who spend long hours out in the sun on a daily basis, such as labourers, construction workers, traffic police and military personnel.

Such exposure to sun and heat can cause symptoms including severe dehydration, high fever, dry skin, hallucinations and delirium to appear.

The main organs, such as the heart and kidneys, can be affected as well, and sufferers must be taken to hospital to recover.

Heat exhaustion is more common but rarely requires a hospital visit. It occurs when people fail to replace adequately the fluids they have lost by sweating.

Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headaches and low blood pressure. Doctors advise drinking more fluids, especially fresh juices, which can help replenish the body's electrolytes.

The best way to avoid both conditions is simple: stay out of the sun between noon and 3pm, wear light, cotton clothing, drink plenty of fluids and avoid eating greasy food.

hkhalaf@thenational.ae