I look forward to a hot summer, there’s no doubt about it. Going to beach for a swim, having the family over to barbecue, relaxing and enjoying the sun’s rays; it’s an excellent time to be alive. We know in the air conditioning business that sometimes, it can get a little bit too hot, and that’s when we like to retreat into our cool homes. We become uncomfortable in the heat because getting too hot can pose a health risk, especially in seniors; that’s why air conditioning isn’t just a creature comfort, it’s a safety feature. Today, we’re going to learn about what happens when we overheat, and the dangers it can pose to our well-being.
When our body overheats, it begins to put strain on our nerve cells. This is very dangerous, as our brains are made up almost entirely of nerve cells; when our brains get too hot, we can get heat stroke, which is extremely dangerous. There are several signs of heat stroke you should be aware of. When we get too hot, we may actually stop sweating, despite the heat; this is a sign that you should get to a hospital right away. More blood has to pump to our skin to keep us cool, and our sweat dehydrates us, so the heart is under a lot of strain when we overheat. This is why it’s important not to overdo exercise in hot temperatures; try to do your workouts in a cool, air conditioned place.
There are many signs of overheating; experiencing these symptoms means you should get to a cool area before things get worse. Headache, nausea, cramps, excessive sweating, cold, clammy skin, thirst, fatigue and poor coordination are all signs you should head indoors. Confusion, sudden changes in behavior, fainting, or an overly strong or weak pulse are all signs of heat stroke, and you should go to the doctor immediately.
Heat related illness disproportionately affects our seniors. This is a result of many factors, including decreased blood circulation, less effective sweat glands, higher rate of other illness, dehydrating medication and low-salt diet (which affects our sweat glands). This means it’s important to take particular care if you are a senior or caring for a senior. Having a place to go and cool off on a moment’s notice is imperative; your very life may be at risk. Make sure to have plenty of water available, and don’t have too many sips of sangria on a hot summer’s day; alcohol can dehydrate you, and affects your judgement, so you might not realize you’ve been out in the heat for too long.
Between 1999 and 2009, there were 7,233 reported heat related deaths; that’s an average of 658 people per year. Even if you survive heatstroke, the recovery can be long. Don’t take a risk this season; make sure you have a cool, air conditioned home. Your air conditioning system professionals at Classic Air Conditioning will be more than happy to help you keep cool this summer. Make sure to enjoy the warm weather, spend time with your family, and above all, keep safe and cool this summer.