Summer reminds us of sun-soaked days and beach escapes. However, high temperatures can affect our health. To stay safe and healthy throughout the summer season, consider the potential health implications below.
1. Dehydration: As the temperature climbs, our bodies perspire more to help cool us down. If not counterbalanced with ample fluid intake, it can lead to dehydration. Symptoms might include thirst, dark yellow urine, dizziness, and tiredness. Severe dehydration needs immediate medical attention.
2. Heat Stroke: This is a serious condition where the body can’t cool itself and may result in your internal temperature rising to dangerous levels within minutes. Symptoms can include a throbbing headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea, and a rapid pulse. It requires urgent medical intervention.
3. Sunburn: We may seek that sun-kissed glow, but prolonged sun exposure can cause painful sunburn. This not only increases the risk of skin cancers but can also lead to premature aging of the skin.
4. Sleep Disruptions: High temperatures at night can disturb our sleep. A hot environment makes it difficult for our core body temperature to drop, essential for sleep initiation. Sleep deprivation, in turn, affects cognitive abilities and mood.
5. Air Quality: Hotter weather can deteriorate air quality, intensifying pollutants which can aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma.
Protecting Yourself from the Heat:
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water. Avoid sugary or alcoholic beverages as they can further dehydrate you.
- Limit Outdoor Activities: Restrict strenuous activities to cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.
- Wear Sun Protection: Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen, wear sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, and light, loose-fitting clothing.
- Seek Shade: If you’re outdoors, ensure you have access to shade, whether under a tree, umbrella, or a canopy.
- Cool Your Living Space: Use fans or air-conditioning, and keep curtains drawn during the day. At night, consider a cool shower before bed or using lighter bedding.
- Stay Informed: Always check the local weather forecast for heatwave warnings and be aware of the air quality index in your region.
By being informed and taking proactive measures during months with high temperatures, we can enjoy the best of summer while ensuring our well-being is never compromised. And if you do experience any heat-related health problems, make an appointment with your healthcare provider by calling 1-800-859-0085 or by making an appointment via the patient portal: https://mycw26.eclinicalweb.com/portal2351/jsp/100mp/login_otp.jsp