Common Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Common symptoms of heat exhaustion include faintness or dizziness, nausea, heavy sweating, and muscle cramps. Additional symptoms include headache, weakness or fatigue, rapid pulse and flushed face.

Heat exhaustion is the result of exposure to high temperatures and occurs through either water or salt depletion. Although these are not symptomatic of the more serious heat stroke, inadequately addressing heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke and result in brain damage, vital organ damage and death.

Heat exhaustion is tied to the heat index, which is a measure of combined relative humidity and air temperature and how the body feels under those conditions. When relative humidity reaches or exceeds 60 percent and the temperature is 90 degrees or above, it prevents sweat evaporation and inhibits the body from cooling itself.

If you or someone near you has symptoms of heat exhaustion, get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room; drink fluids; remove unnecessary clothing; take a cool shower; and apply ice towels. If this doesn’t provide relief within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical help.