If you like to spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer months, you’ll want to ensure you know how to protect yourself from the sun. Not only do you have to worry about sunburns from too much time in the sun, but dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all possible ailments that can come from too much sun exposure. Know the signs and symptoms of these sun-related problems so you can know when to seek medical help. For a trusted urgent care in Falls Church, choose Medics USA.

Everything You Need To Know About Too Much Sun Exposure

Dehydration

Most Americans don’t drink enough water to begin with. However, once you couple not drinking enough water with too much time in the sun, you have a recipe for disaster. Symptoms that often accompany dehydration include the following:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Mouth is dry
  • Feeling tired
  • Less frequent urination
  • Urine is dark yellow
  • Head is aching
  • Skin is dry
  • Feeling dizzy

If any of the symptoms listed above get worse over a short period of time, this is a sign of severe dehydration. Once you’ve reached a level of severe dehydration, you will likely experience the following:

  • Little to no urine output
  • Urine is dark yellow or amber
  • Dizziness resulting in the inability to stand or walk
  • Low blood pressure
  • High fever
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Feeling confused

Once dehydration reaches the severity listed above, it’s time to visit the nearest urgent care. If symptoms begin to include seizures, difficulty breathing, or severe chest and abdominal pain, you will likely need to visit the emergency room, as these symptoms are more life-threatening. In order to avoid dehydration, you’ll need to drink at least eight ounces of water for every hour you spend in the sun.

Heat Exhaustion

It can be difficult to differentiate between dehydration and heat exhaustion, but when heat exhaustion occurs, it is usually accompanied by dehydration. The most common signs of heat exhaustion include the following:

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling confused
  • Feeling fatigued
  • Muscle cramps
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Skin is pale
  • Excessive sweating

Heat exhaustion can quickly lead to heat stroke, so once you notice the symptoms above, it’s important to seek medical help immediately. If unconsciousness occurs due to heat exhaustion, it’s important to go straight to the emergency room instead of going to an urgent care.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most dangerous kind of heat-related injury, and because it can cause brain damage and damage to internal organs, and can even lead to death, it is considered a medical emergency and you’ll need to go straight to the ER. Heat stroke occurs when you’ve spent a prolonged period of time in high temperatures and you’re also dehydrated. If your body’s temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit, this is considered a heat stroke. Symptoms that often accompany heat stroke include:

  • A throbbing headache
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Inability to sweat
  • Skin that is red and dry and hot to the touch
  • Muscle weakness
  • Shallow breathing that is rapid
  • Disorientation
  • Seizure
  • Unconsciousness

If you or someone you know begins to exhibit signs of heat stroke, don’t hesitate to call 911. The best way to avoid dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke is to limit your time in the sun, drink at least eight ounces of water every hour, wear a hat and protective clothing, and rest in the shade when possible. First aid you can employ if someone is suffering from any of the aforementioned ailments is to fan the person affected, move them to a shady area, remove excess clothing, wet their skin, apply ice packs to armpits, groin, back, and neck, or put the person in an ice bath.

If symptoms are consistent with dehydration or heat exhaustion, visit the Medics USA urgent care in Falls Church. If symptoms change rapidly or are in-line with heat stroke, call 911 or go to the nearest ER. Pay attention to your body when you’re in the sun and take all of the necessary precautions to avoid too much sun exposure.