East Texans at risk for heat exhaustion with high temperatures

East Texans at risk for heat exhaustion with high temperatures
Updated: Jul. 20, 2018 at 7:19 PM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - With temperatures reaching above the 100 degree mark, physicians and emergency responders are asking the public to closely monitor their health.

They say this time of year is one of the busiest for symptoms of heat exhaustion.

"Every day a good 50 percent of the patients we are seeing are related to heat related illness," Hospitality Health ER nurse Blake Williams said.

With the heat expected to hit record highs, too much exposure could put East Texans' health at risk.

"Your insides heat up much like when you cook, you are cooking your organs, you are cooking your brain," UT Health paramedic Nicki Lamey said. "Our brain doesn't do well with extreme heats, and it can mimic signs and symptoms of a stroke."

Heat-related illnesses often present itself with many symptoms.

"We have seen some patients come in with body aches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting," Williams said.

However, the heat is not the only natural element causing problems. The Saharan Dust that is lingering in the air is also causing health problems for East Texans.

"We've seen an uptake pf people coming in with upper respiratory illnesses," Williams said. "So a lot of sore throats, coughs, stuffy noses, ears, headaches, that are all attributed to this dust that's in the air."

Lamey says with the heat and the dust irritating lungs, a person's health can decline rapidly after experiencing initial symptoms.

"Then that person starts acting out of the ordinary, they are not acting like themselves," Lamey said. "When you get to that point, you absolutely, need to cool off, and if they don't get better, they need to go out to the hospital because they could end up having a seizure they could die."

She says youth and elderly are most susceptible to heat-related illnesses because they cannot regulate their body temperature as well.

Both Lamey and Williams say the best way to avoid heat related illnesses is to drink plenty of water and electrolytes and stay in the shade.

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