Doctors Warn of Heat Related Illnesses as Temperatures Climb this Summer

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - As temperatures climb this summer doctors warn of the dangers of the heat. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke and sunburn are just some of the heat related illnesses. 

"We see heat related illnesses on a daily basis in the summertime," said Brandy Milstead, a Physician at Bay Medical Center.

So far this week Bay Medical staff has treated several people for heat related illnesses, one with a body temperature of 108.

"You become in the heatstroke category when you start to have neurological effects, sometimes people lose consciousness and feint or have actual stroke like systems and they can start to have weakness on one side of their body, they can have facial weakness, slurred speech," said Dr. Milstead.

Tourists from the northern, more mild climates, as well as the young and old are the most prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 

"When you mix heat and alcohol sometimes people aren't fully aware how hot they are getting," said Dr. Milstead.

Hydrating and avoiding peak sun hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. are a good preventative measures.

"If you start to feel overwhelmed I recommend getting out of the sun, going somewhere with air conditioning, if you aren't sweating you want to spray yourself even just with a water bottle and get near an air conditioner, that will help you evaporate," said Dr. Milstead.

If symptoms get worse, seek medical care.

"If you feint for any reason or become very weak, experience chest pains or any kind of stroke symptoms I would certainly come see us right away," said Dr. Milstead.

The high temps can also cause heat cramps and heat rash.

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