Doctor explains heat stroke vs. heat exhaustion - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Doctor explains heat stroke vs. heat exhaustion

Dr. Robert Platt (Source: WAFF) Dr. Robert Platt (Source: WAFF)

We are in the middle of summer in the Tennessee Valley and that brings along a lot of hot temperatures. Many people like to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is nice, but there are some precautions you should take when dealing with the heat.

There are many different factors when it comes to a heat stroke and heat exhaustion, though they can both be very similar.

According to, a heat stroke is the most severe form of heat illness while heat exhaustion is when the body cannot properly cool itself. But if it's left untreated, it can turn into a heat stroke.

Dr. Robert Platt with Huntsville Hospital said while heat stroke is the most severe form of illness, it’s also rare and you usually see it occur in nursing home patients.

Platt said it can be hard to detect if someone has suffered from heat exhaustion or a heat stroke because most of the time it depends on their neurological state.

Platt said most patients come in already unconscious.

Platt said the most common symptoms include heat cramps, feeling lightheaded, dizziness, nausea and muscle cramps.

To combat heat exhaustion, make sure you are staying hydrated throughout the day and try your best to stay in cool areas.

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