Dr. Ed Dominguez talks about symptoms of heat-related illnesses
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The triple-digit temperatures we’re seeing can put people at risk for heat-related illnesses. With temperatures in the low 100s this afternoon, many people chose to stay inside. However, if you have to be outdoors, there are a few things you should know.
“Heat exhaustion is when you begin to notice that the heat is really taking it out of you. You feel tired, as the name would imply, but you’re feeling significantly weak because of the lost, frequently at this point, it’s really just the loss of fluids,” said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Ed Dominguez.
If you begin to get dizzy when you stand up from sitting, he said that’s your body telling you to hydrate and get to a cooler or more shaded spot.
“Get into a cooler area, if there’s air conditioning that’s even better; some fans, something like that, to help you cool down the outside of your body and therefore the inside of your body.”
Dr Ed. said heat stroke occurs when your body gets so overheated that you’re no longer able to regulate your own body temperature.
“The temperature is increasing very rapidly. Now you’re having mental status changes, where you get confused. You can develop seizures,” he said. “Your heart will get problematic as well; you can develop abnormal rhythms. Your breathing may become more labored.”
Dr. Ed said in most cases it’s best to get to cooler spots and begin to hydrate with an electrolyte solution but, “When you get to that stage of staggering around a little bit, you’re not sweating anymore, you’re confusion, that’s when 911 should be called.”
He adds that those on medication can be more at risk for developing heat-related illnesses. It can happen even when you’re not outside, if there isn’t adequate ventilation.
“So if the air conditioner is out, don’t keep the house closed up, even though it doesn’t seem to make much sense, open up windows on some parts of the house so you have some flow of air through there, even though you may not have a lot of air,” he said. “If you have a small, inexpensive fan, use that to help generate the air flow through the house.”
Dominguez said it’s important to check in on loved ones, especially those who may be older or living alone. If you have to be outside or working outside, try to do so in pairs in order to keep an eye on one another.
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