What is heat stroke?
It’s a term you may also hear referred to as “sunstroke,” and it is clinically defined as when your core temperature soars above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, along with central nervous system dysfunction, explains James Winger, MD, associate professor of family medicine at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. Also, the signs of heat stroke are different from heat exhaustion—learn how to tell them apart here.
Two “types” of heat stroke
Heat stroke can happen in two main ways. One is from exertion, when “exercise raises someone’s core body temperature and the systems that usually help the body cool back down don’t work,” says Dr. Winger. For instance, high humidity may impair the body’s ability to cool itself off through perspiration—sweat. A second cause is due to environmental factors like being in a heat wave with no access to air conditioning, for instance.