Difference between Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion

By Jaxson

Main Difference

Both of these are due to excessive sun exposure. But, the main difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion is, heat exhaustion occurs when a person is severely exhausted and is not hydrated properly. Lack of fluid in body or fluid, electrolyte imbalance leads to heat exhaustion. On the other hand, heat stroke occur when a body is not able to regulate its temperature in severely hot climate, usually due to sun stroke.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is more severe and is a medical emergency. It is one of the most severe form of illness. In heat stroke, body loses the ability to regulate the temperature within and that eventually leads to this condition. If not treated immediately, it could even damage the brain and other parts of nervous system.

Heat Exhaustion

Children who play and who are involved more in sports or other physical activities should keep themselves hydrated. Enough water in the body and fluid balance is important in order to get rid of heat produced within the body during exertion. If a person is not hydrated properly then no such process would occur, body would not be able to get rid of excessive heat and thus heat exhaustion occurs.

Key Differences

  • Heat stroke is more severe than heat exhaustion.
  • Heat exhaustion is due to dehydration while heat stroke is not.
  • In heat stroke there will be flushed skin with no sweating.
  • Body will be fatigued in heat exhaustion but in heat stroke the fever rises up.
  • In heat exhaustion, the patient experiences weakness but in heat stroke, patient experiences severe headache.
  • In heat exhaustion the skin will be clammy as compared to that in the case of heat stroke.
  • Heat exhaustion leads to irritability while heat stroke more commonly leads to loss of consciousness.
  • In heat exhaustion the patient will face nausea or even vomiting but in heat stroke, decreased responsibility.

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