Many areas across the country have been experiencing record breaking temperatures. During heat waves it is imperative to stay hydrated and cool. As we get older, it is more difficult for our bodies to regulate our body temperature.
According to the National Institute on Aging, people 65 years and older are more susceptible to heat-related issues. Reasons for this include chronic medical conditions and medications making it more difficult for our bodies to adjust to sudden changes in temperature.
Being overheated for an extended period of time can cause many health issues. Some of these include:
Although the conditions above are indicative of being too warm or being exposed to the sun too long, more serious conditions include heat exhaustion and heat stroke. When someone is experiencing heat exhaustion, they may feel thirsty, weak, nauseated, uncoordinated, dizzy, and rapid pulse.
Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke. Heat stroke is a medical emergency characterized by the body’s temperature rising above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Signs of heat stroke include fainting, confusion, and flushed skin. Anyone who is experiencing any of these symptoms should immediately seek medical help, move to a cooler place, and attempt to lower their body temperature by taking a cold bath or shower.
Medical attention should be sought for any heat related illness when signs and symptoms persist.
Although spending too much time in the heat or in the sun can have serious implications, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite warm weather activities.
What can you do to prevent heat related illness?
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Written by Madison Chalmers
Image by Freepik