3 Heatstroke Prevention Tips
As a general care physician who frequently sees patients with heat-related disorders, I am all too familiar with how heat waves cause an increase in hospitalizations and deaths due to “severe non-exertional hyperthermia,” or “heatstroke,” as most people refer to it.
Heatstroke occurs when a person’s core body temperature goes too high – usually above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) – as a result of high external temperatures and humidity that hinder the body from cooling itself through sweating and breathing. Rapid heart rate, ragged breathing, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, and confusion are among symptoms of heatstroke. The patient may eventually lose consciousness completely.
Heatstroke is often fatal if not treated immediately. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 658 Americans die each year from heatstroke.
Heatstroke can affect people of any age, but it is more common in the elderly – notably those over the age of 70 – since our bodies’ ability to cool down diminishes as we age. A person’s capacity to regulate temperature is also harmed by several popular medications used to treat high blood pressure, seizures, and psychological disorders. When an old person is unaware of the severe heat wave, does not have working air conditioning in their house, and has no one to check on them, the hazards increase even greater.
Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, in addition to becoming older, all raise the risk of heatstroke.
Here are three suggestions for avoiding this possibly fatal condition:
Keep yourself hydrated.
Increase your water consumption in hotter weather and avoid sugary drinks and alcohol. Stay in touch with your doctor if your regular water intake has been restricted due to heart failure or another diagnosis during a heat wave to avoid medical consequences.
When heat and humidity levels are high, avoid exercising during the hottest hours of the day – normally between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. – and expect a lengthier recovery period after exercise.
Look for a cool place to be.
If you don’t have air conditioning in your home or car, try the following:
Fans assist by producing air circulation over the skin, resulting in perspiration evaporation, which decreases the body temperature. Even though fans are good in high humidity, air conditioning is preferable since it provides drier air, which allows your body to cool itself more quickly.
During a heat wave, make sure your senior neighbors, relatives, and friends have the resources they need to stay cool. If you’re interested. Brief News from Washington Newsday.