The summer is here and there is an increased chance of seeing some sunshine and enjoying some warm weather. Although in places such as the UK a heat wave or a temperature over 15 degrees centigrade can be a novelty, there are serious risks associated with the increased temperature.
Most people are aware of the risks of sunburn as a direct consequence of standing in direct sunlight without wearing any protective cream. However, even when seeking shade at regular periods, an increased temperature can lead to physical side effects.
The most vitally important thing to do when the outside temperature increases, is to increase your fluid intake. Dehydration can have serious consequences on your health and ideally you should be replacing fluids lost through sweat with fresh water. Avoid sugary drinks, alcohol and caffeine as these are a known cause of dehydration and will only exasperate the problem.
Heat exhaustion is a condition with symptoms including headaches, nausea, dizziness and fainting. This condition is often seen among manual labourers in times of high ambient temperatures. Taking extra breaks, drinking more water and seeking shade can help prevent this problem. However, if symptoms are evident, remove the victim from the heat and cool them down as best as possible. Give plenty of water but ensure it is taken in small sips.
Heat stroke is often preceded by very painful headaches and possible blurred or loss of vision. Sweating will have ceased by this point and the skin will be warm to the touch. Again with this type of patient seek shade immediately. Cool the patient down with a cold shower if possible. Blankets could also be doused in water and wrapped loosely around the patient. Raise the legs of the patient above the torso which helps protect the core by ensuring the majority of blood flow is in or around this area. Seek immediate medical help.
If the headaches are becoming persistent and cannot always be attributed to the heat, it is possible that you are suffering from migraines. This is a condition with chronic headaches as the main symptom, but can be brought on due to atmospheric changes such as heat. If in any doubt about your symptoms, or in the case of persistent problems, the advice is always to visit your GP. Broadgate GP will be able to perform tests to determine the cause of your headache and provide you with the appropriate treatment.