The temperature is getting hot and for many cities heat waves are already occurring, but for persons who are most susceptible to these changes in temperature it could have a deadly ending.
Seniors, children, and individuals suffering from chronic health problems are at a higher risk of heat-related complications and even death. Dr. Robert Glatter, emergency physician, explained, “Those who have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, as well as those who suffer with mental illness, may be at risk for heat-related emergencies, including heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), heat exhaustion, as well as heat stroke.”
“Various classes of medications including beta blockers, as well as diuretics, can impair sweating — ultimately disrupting the body’s ability to cool itself. Other medications including antihistamines, as well as antidepressants and sedatives, may also impair your ability to sweat, leading to heat-related illnesses,” he continued.
Even young and healthy individuals need to be mindful of the rising temperatures, too, in order to avoid heat-related complications.
Experts recommend staying well hydrated, but only when you are thirsty and avoid overhydrating. If you are being physically active outdoors, consuming sports drinks to replace electrolytes is recommended. It’s also important to pay attention to heat-related symptoms. Glatter explained, “A high pulse rate, headache, dizziness, nausea, as well as shallow breathing, may be the initial signs of dehydration that may precede heat-related illness.”
Staying in an air-conditioned facility or home is best way to stay cool. If your home is not equipped with air conditioning, try venturing to public spaces like libraries or malls. Using a fan and a spray bottle with cool water is also a useful way to stay cool.