Heat Exhaustion

Also known as: heat stress, heat-related illness, overheating, heat cramps.

What is heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is a potentially dangerous condition that can occur after prolonged exposure to high temperatures. It’s typically considered the middle scenario in a progression of dangerous symptoms related to heat, which ranges from heat cramps at the low end to heatstroke at the severe end.

What causes heat exhaustion?

Usually it’s some combination of high temperatures, high humidity and strenuous activity that causes heat exhaustion. Prolonged time in the heat and lack of breaks or fluids can exacerbate the symptoms.

What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is characterized by fatigue, dizziness, excessive sweating, cramps, headache, nausea, low heart rate and skin that is getting cool to the touch.

What are heat exhaustion care options?

When a person suspects that they or a loved one has heat exhaustion, they should immediately move to a cooler place, rest and drink cold fluids. If symptoms do not improve or worse, immediate medical attention should be sought.

Reviewed by: Jose R. Rosa-Olivares, M.D.

This page was last updated on: August 23, 2023 03:58 PM