Hot weather can place a dangerous strain on your body, especially your heart. Heat stress can cause many medical problems including heat exhaustion, heart failure and stroke. Taking a few precautionary steps against heat stress and learning what resources are available in the event of a heat wave, will mean a more comfortable Summer, prevent illness and could even save your life!
Facts About The Heat
- Temperatures above 90 degrees F can be very dangerous, especially with high humidity.
- Your body needs time to adjust to hot weather. A sudden increase in temperature, especially in the early Summer, is particularly dangerous because your body is unprepared for the strain.
- Your chances of getting sick in hot weather are increased by: Diabetes, Hypertension, Diarrhea, Infection or Fever, Drinking Alcohol, a Previous Stroke, Being Overweight, a Weak or Damaged Heart, Problems with Circulation, and Skin Disease or Sunburn.
- Many prescription drugs can make you much more vulnerable to the heat. If you take medicine for high blood pressure, nervousness, depression, poor circulation or sleeping, check with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
- Heat stress can cause physical and mental changes. These changes are warning signs that your body is in danger.
Early Warning Signs
- During hot weather, most people feel uncomfortable and notice a lack of energy or loss of appetite. These are mild signs, and unless they persist there is no need to be alarmed.
- Pay attention to the early warning signs of heat illness and take steps to cool down before you experience the following serious signs: Dizziness, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Mental Changes, Chest Pain, Nausea, Cramps, Extreme Weakness, Rapid Heartbeat, Throbbing Headache, Breathing Problems, Dry Skin (No Sweating).
- If you or some one else experience any of these serious signs bathe with cool water and call your doctor or seek other medical advice immediately.
Produced by the Cambridge Council On Aging
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