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For most people, when it is hot out, they are uncomfortable. They feel sluggish and perspire. However, excess heat can lead to much more serious problems, especially for people over the age of 65 and infants.
The body constantly strives to keep a balance between how much heat it makes and how much it loses. The brain plays the role of thermostat. However, with age, seniors loss some of their temperature regulating abilities. And it doesn’t have to be 100° to cause a problem.
In addition, seniors maintain less of their body weight in water, and they perspire less. So their cooling system has less margin for error. They may also have health problems (stroke, circulatory diseases, etc.) that affect the body’s retention of fluids and/or restrict the opening of blood vessels. (They may be taking medications that do the same.) All these elements can really mess up one’s ability to keep their cool.
Heat exhaustion is an illness that may result from too much heat. It is caused by exposure to high temperatures over several days. It also involves the insufficient/unbalanced replacement of fluids.
Heat exhaustion is a signal that the body can no longer keep itself cool. Here are symptoms that you should look for. Be aware, the warning signs vary from person to person.
Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency! It is the most serious illness that results from too much heat. It occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature and cannot cool down.