If you’ve been finding the weather a little too hot to handle these past few weeks, you can blame it on the “heat dome” that has been hovering over the eastern United States. Meteorologist Kyle Elliott said, “With no strong pushes of cool air from Canada on the horizon, people from the mid-Atlantic to the Deep South can expect virtually no relief from the high heat and humidity.”
Above average temperatures will be seen in Seattle and Portland, and in some areas in the Northwest temperatures could possible hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
With extreme heat, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure you do not get ill or experience any heat-related complications. Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum from Lenox Hill Hospital shared, “The heat can be dangerous for your heart. Be careful during this time. Make sure you stay hydrated and drink enough water. Stay in the shade or indoors with air conditioning if possible. Take [the heat wave] seriously. Dehydration can be a critical issue for not only your heart, but can affect your whole body.”
Some people are at a higher risk for sun- and heat-related conditions, so it’s imperative that they take extra precaution to stay safe. Dr. Michael Grosso, medical director at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital, explained, “Some people at especially high risk for heat injury include those under two and over 65, as well as those with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and emphysema [COPD].”
It’s important to stay well hydrated and wear loose-fitting clothing. You can also take cool showers if you feel overheated.
Dr. Barry Rosenthal, chair of the department of emergency medicine at Winthrop-University Hospital, explained that heat-related illnesses are far more common than one may believe. He explained, “Although preventable, many heat-related illnesses, including deaths, occur annually. Older adults, infants and children, and people with chronic medical conditions are particularly susceptible. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to the heat if one does not take appropriate precautions.”
It is advised that people stay in properly air-conditioned places – like their homes or public community centers – and limit their time outside.
Also keep in mind that certain medications like diuretics may increase your risk of heat-related illnesses. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about any special procedures you should follow in order to reduce your risk.
Lastly, keep an eye on those around you who may be extra vulnerable to the effects of heat to ensure they are safe. Stay cool!
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: Heat rash causes, symptoms, and home remedies.