Be sure to hydrate, take breaks during hot, humid weather

Brian Snyder, MSN-APRN-CNP, ProMedica Urgent Care - Perrysburg

        Many people know that extreme temperatures can be dangerous, but some may not know that the addition of humidity can increase those inherent dangers.
        Humidity is the amount of water vapor or moisture in the air. While humidity does not affect temperatures directly, it changes how people experience them. Humidity can leave people feeling hot, sticky and uncomfortable.
        As the body warms up, it tries to release heat by way of sweat. Sweating decreases the body’s internal temperature by transferring the heat through moisture, which is intended to evaporate, carrying away the heat and cooling down the body. As humidity increases, moisture becomes more ambient in the air, diminishing the ability for sweat to evaporate. This can cause the body to sweat excessively in an attempt to regulate its internal temperature.
        Excessive sweating can lead to dehydration and fatigue, increasing the risk for potential heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
        When outdoors, be sure to take proper safety precautions and limit exposure to short intervals that do not cause immense discomfort. If performing any outdoor physical activities, hydrate often with water or a reduced sugar electrolyte replacement beverage. Take a break to spend time in a shaded area and use a fan to help increase the ability for sweat to evaporate.
        It is important to seek immediate medical attention for any symptoms related to prolonged heat or humidity exposure. Symptoms include heavy sweating, dizziness, nausea or vomiting and confusion.


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