The human body is designed with the ability to adapt to environmental changes. However, mother nature can sometimes force the body to exert a bigger effort to protect itself, especially from factors like weather changes. Exposure to extreme heat can significantly affect our well-being. This is why keeping the temperature acceptable in our homes is essential.
Summer is just around the corner. In most parts of the world, temperatures are starting to rise. For instance, in the city of Largo in Florida, the sunshine capital of the United States, people are already experiencing 77% of humidity in the air. Due to this, experts suggest that homeowners make sure that air conditioning systems in their dwellings are functioning correctly and repaired when needed.
Although the body needs warmth, intensely high temperatures can be detrimental to health. Accordingly, here are several conditions that are likely to be developed from exposure to extreme heat.
Heat exhaustion is included in the three primary syndromes related to heat, with heat cramps and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion causes persistent sweating and an increased heart rate caused by overheating of the body. Symptoms associated with heat exhaustion include goose bumps, moist skin, quick pulse, fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea, headache, and low blood pressure.
Being exposed to high temperatures, especially with high humidity, and while engaging in intense physical activity can lead to heat exhaustion. Immediate treatment is needed as this condition can worsen to a heat stroke.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety defines heat stress as the strain experienced by a worker from the rise of metabolic heat combined with factors like air temperature and movement, radiant heat, and humidity. Clothing requirements of workers may also increase the level of metabolic heat.
According to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists of Cincinnati, Ohio, metabolic heat is the total heat produced by the human body through external causes like exercise and internal bodily functions like chemical activities and processes.
Heat stress causes increased irritability on workers, thus interfering with the quality of their performance by affecting productivity levels and ability to focus.
Heat hives or cholinergic urticaria occur due to a drastic increase in the body’s temperature. Breakouts tend to appear after being sweaty from environmental heat, nervousness, or strenuous workout. Statistics show that about 15 percent of the U.S. population is affected by heat hives.
Dr. Albert Ahn, a specialist on internal medicine, reports that hives can be an allergic reaction or an immune response to heat. Hives are itchy, round lesions which often appear on the face, chest, face, arms, and back. Breakouts usually dissipate on their own after the temperature of the body is cooled down.
To prevent these conditions, it’s important to maintain a cool temperature in your house during the summer months. It’s also suggested to keep yourself hydrated and avoid intense activities under the sun. If you experience the conditions above, perform first aid and contact a doctor immediately if symptoms persist for more than an hour.