Heat stroke, overheating and heat exhaustion are some of the common side effects of excessive heat during the summer months. Overheating and dehydration of the body is caused mainly by heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion occurs mainly due to the body losing water or salt to a point where the normal body functioning is altered. Extended periods of strenuous physical exercises in hot and humid areas worsen the condition due to excessive loss of body fluids via sweating.
Heat stroke on the hand is a serious health condition which affects the body’s cooling system. This condition is also referred to as “sunstroke” and is caused by the body temperature elevating to a point where some parts of the brain and other internal organs are damaged. At this point, the part of the brain that controls the cooling system of the body stops working and the body is not able to cool itself. This may result in strain on the lungs, liver, heart and even the kidney. Heat exhaustion causes overheating which in turn may lead to heatstroke if not spotted and treated early.
How to avoid overheating and heat stroke
These health conditions can be mild and transient in most cases; however, engaging in some strenuous physical activities worsen the condition and may lead to hospitalization. While you are out in the hot and humid environments or during the summer months make sure you have the following in place:
- Put on loose-fitting, light-colored and light weight clothing. Excessively tight or dark clothing holds unnecessary heat and this won’t let your body to cool as it inhibits sweat evaporation.
- Avoid direct contact with the sun- when going outdoors; wear wide-brimmed hat or work around with an umbrella to avoid sunburn. You can also choose to apply sunscreen to the exposed parts of the body.
- Make sure Air Conditioning is maintained – In the off season consider getting an technician to check out the AC units in your home or business. One example is air conditioning repair Manassas VA, which has a special program for checking the function of AC units as the weather starts to turn hot.
- Drinking plenty of fluids- staying hydrated in one way of keeping your body cool and maintaining a normal body functioning . In case you have a limit to the intake of fluids, be sure to check this with your doctor to avoid inconveniencies. You should also avoid alcoholic beverages and take extra precautions with some medications.
- Avoid hot spots- these include some crowded places or even your parked car. During summer, the car temperature can rise up to about 20 F in just ten minutes. Before you can ride your car, let it cool off and if possible, don’t leave anyone else in a parked car. Instead, seek a cooler place with an air-conditioning or proper ventilation. A well- shaded place from direct sunlight can also be a good option to avoid that excessive heating.
- Allow your body to acclimate to the heat- if you travel somewhere and the temperature suddenly jumps higher, take some time before trying out some exercise in the area. Ideally, it’ll take up to some weeks before the body get used to the high temperatures and this time is enough for your body to adjust to the new environment.
In the case of adverse side effects such as lack of sweating, rapid breathing, racing heart or muscle cramps; seek medical assistance as soon as possible to avoid serious health problems.