It's not officially summer yet but it's starting to feel that way. Temperatures are on the rise and with that comes the risk of a heat-related illness like heat exhaustion. According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, an average of 618 deaths were associated with exposure to excessive natural heat a year.
In the coming months 90 plus degree weather will be commonplace and many will spend time outside whether it's for work or recreation. After an extended amount of time in the sun you could get sick.
"Whenever there's high temperature and high humidity there's a perfect setup for it," explained Dr. Edward King with Conway Medical Center.
That combination often happens in our area. Heat-related illnesses range from heat rash to heat stroke. To keep yourself from overheating experts suggest wearing lightweight light-colored clothing, staying indoors when you can and avoiding drinks with caffeine and high amounts of sugar.
"Use your common sense. Make sure you drink more fluid than you normally would if you're gonna be outside working in the heat and the humidity," said King. "If you feel weak and tired then stop. Go sit down in the shade and just rest and get back to it later on."
"If you're really really sweating a lot then you wan to just replace more that just the water itself and you may need to replace the electrolytes as well," added Dr. John Molnar with Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.
While outside if you find yourself with symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, and muscle cramps you may need medical attention.
"Some medications people take can contribute to more sensitivity to heat. Adverse affects. Some of the blood pressure medicine certainly diuretics of course. Even some of the mood altering drugs and I don't mean recreational drugs. I mean prescription drugs," said King.
Children and older adults are at greater risk for heat related illness so make sure they stay cool as well.