When temperatures rise, we are drawn outside. Sunbathing puts you in a good mood, but can also cause headaches. FOCUS Online explains how to prevent painful sunstroke – and how to relieve the symptoms as quickly as possible.
Typical symptoms of sunstroke are headaches and, in some cases, vomiting. Sunstroke causes the head and neck to heat up, while heat stroke causes the entire body temperature to rise.
Sunstroke heats up the head and neck so much that the meninges swell and, in the worst case, can become inflamed. The pressure in the brain increases, sufferers suffer from headaches, nausea and a stiff feeling in the neck area.
The head gets hot while the rest of the body stays comparatively cool. Those affected feel powerless and dizzy and in some cases also complain of ringing in their ears. The symptoms usually only appear a few hours after sunbathing.
At the first sign of sunstroke, duck into the shade, have a refreshing drink, and cool your neck with damp towels. However, do not reach for ice cubes or ice packs, as extreme cold can put additional strain on your body.
Minor symptoms can easily be relieved by yourself. If fever, vomiting or loss of consciousness occur, you should call a doctor.
Are you planning a strenuous bike tour or a long-distance run in high temperatures? Find out more about heat warnings on the website of the German Weather Service beforehand. In general, you should not stay in the blazing sun for too long and it is best to wear light headgear. If you sweat a lot, you should also drink enough water.
Sunstroke only overheats the head and neck, while heat stroke causes the entire body temperature to rise to more than 40 degrees. Sufferers experience convulsions, feel light-headed, and dizzy. Heat stroke, also known as heat shock, can permanently damage the brain.
At the first sign of heat stroke, go into the shade, open tight clothing and take off your shoes. Cool your body with wet towels. However, do not cool off in a lake or under a cold shower. This can cause you to get convulsions or even become unconscious.
Sunstroke often affects small children. Their thin skullcap does a poor job of protecting their brains from strong sunlight. Sunstroke can be life-threatening for them.
Even adults with thinning hair should only be in the sun with a hat.