What is Heat Exhaustion Recovery Time?

Heat Exhaustion Recovery Time

Heat exhaustion recovery time is the time required for someone affected by heat exhaustion to recover from the illness. The heat exhaustion recovery time varies based on some factors:

  • Time of diagnosis: How long it took before the illness was diagnosed. This will determine when treatment commences and will also determine heat exhaustion recovery time.
  • The severity of the illness: The time of diagnosis is directly proportional to the time of recovery.

Note that a timely diagnosis could prevent the illness from getting severe.

Before we continue, let us have a background understanding of the term “heat exhaustion”.

What is Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is one of the heat-related illnesses that result from the body’s inability to regulate the core body temperature after prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Other heat-related illnesses aside from heat exhaustion are heat cramps and heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion can be divided into two types based on the cause.

These are:

  • Water depletion: Signs of water depletion heat exhaustion include excessive thirst, weakness, headache, loss of consciousness, etc.
  • Salt depletion: Signs of salt depletion heat exhaustion include nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps, dizziness, etc.

Some risk factors associated with heat exhaustion are having a physical job that requires strenuous activities or wearing heavy protective clothing in hot environments, participating in strenuous sports outside in the heat, being aged 65 years or older, being obese, taking certain medications, such as diuretics, beta-blockers, and antihistamines

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Symptoms Of Heat Exhaustion

  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Moist, cool, or cold skin.
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramping
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

Heat Exhaustion Treatment

When you diagnose heat exhaustion, stop what you are doing and rest.

How do you know you are having heat exhaustion?

You know you are having heat exhaustion when you are experiencing most of the symptoms of heat exhaustion highlighted above.

Other things to do:

  • Move to a shady location to cool yourself down.
  • Rehydrate yourself by drinking water or a beverage with electrolytes, like a sports drink.
  • If you are wearing tight or fitted clothing, loosen or remove it.
  • Remove heavy clothing
  • Take a cool bath to cool off if possible, but if not apply ice packs or towels soaked in cold water to your body; like your forehead, your wrists, the back of your neck, or under your arms, etc.

You may still need to see a doctor for more advice after recovering.

Heat Exhaustion Recovery Time – How Long Does it Take to Recover from Heat Exhaustion?

Full recovery typically occurs within minutes to a couple of hours with fluid replacement, cooler temperature, and rest. Recovering from heat exhaustion usually takes 24 to 48 hours depending on the severity of heat exhaustion.

After you have recovered from heat exhaustion, you will probably be more sensitive to high temperatures during the following week. So it is best to avoid hot weather and heavy exercise until your doctor tells you that it is safe to resume your normal activities.

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