Internal Medicine Specialist Prof. Dr. Yaşar Küçükardalı pointed out that recently, increasing temperatures cause important health problems like palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness and loss of consciousness and he emhasized to precautions to be taken
The climate crisis all over the world is now causing the seasons to be experienced much more intensely. Although there are regional differences, we now have very cold winters and warmer summer months. Reminding that the extreme temperatures in our country in recent days affect not only the elderly or those with chronic diseases, but also all age groups, therefore, there are some risks that can be caused by exposure to both the sun and intense heat, Yeditepe University Hospitals Internal Medicine Specialist Prof. Dr. Yaşar Küçükardalı gave vital information on this subject. Here are their descriptions:
Who Is Most at Risk in Extreme Temperatures?
Hot weather is actually a condition that can affect anyone. Especially people who have to work or be in the heat are more affected. However, besides this; People with chronic diseases such as people with diabetes, kidney disease, heart or lung disease are at greater risk more than healty ones. In addition, the elderly, especially those over the age of 65, children up to 4 years of age and very young infants, overweight people or those who have to live in bed, are more susceptible to the risks of hot weather as they will have difficulty keeping cool.
What Problems Can Be Experienced in Extreme Temperatures?
In case of exposure to heat, the body tries to maintain its temperature by cooling itself by sweating. However, in cases where the temperature is excessively high, some problems may arise as this alone is not enough. There are increased health risks associated with heat that can result in illness and death. These are exacerbations of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, increases in vector-related diseases. Especially since heart and COPD patients may experience shortness of breath, hot weather may increase their complaints. However, dehydration due to is dehydrated, palpitations, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion or changes in consciousness are among the problems that may occur due to overtemps.
Ways to Protect the Elderly in Extreme Heat
Especially people over the age of 65 may not tolerate the increase in temperature as easily as young people. The elderly are in the risk group because they use drugs that affect sweating mechanisms more. For this reason, it is important that both these people and their primary caregivers be careful about this issue. It should be checked whether the fluid consumption is sufficient, whether their body temperature is normal or the coolness of the environment they are in. Precautions should also be taken to protect from the heat.
Ways to Protect Children and Babies in Extreme Heat
Children also need their parents to avoid exposure to heat. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure adequate fluid intake of children, to choose suitable clothes for the heat and to protect them against heat.
Those with Chronic Diseases in Extreme Heat
There are several reasons why these people are more vulnerable to extreme heat. The drugs used by these people can further increase the effect of heat. Concomitantly, some chronic diseases, such as poor bloodstream, heart diseases, and obesity, alone can pose a risk for heat-related illnesses. For this reason, people with chronic diseases should take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from the heat and also talk to their physicians. It is also important that they do not engage in very exhausting activities.
What Precautions Can Be Taken in Extreme Temperatures?
In extreme heat, the following precautions should be taken…
Limit your outdoor activities: Try to be in cool environments as much as possible in hot weather. If you do not have air conditioning in your home, try to go to a cool environment such as shopping malls or markets. Try to get the work you need to be outdoors as early in the morning or in the evening as possible.
Cool your environment: If you don't have air conditioning at home, use a fan. Try to provide air circulation in your home by opening the windows on cool evenings. In the hours when the sun is intense, close the windows, even blinds or curtains, if any, to keep the interior cool. In addition, as much as possible, do not use electronic devices which are heat generated such as ovens, cookers and irons during the day.
Wear light and light-colored clothing: Choose light, thin, cotton and loose clothing. In this way, you can both prevent fluid loss by sweating and maintain body temperature. Also, always use sunscreen before going out, especially with children. Don't forget to use a wide-brimmed hat and glasses to protect yourself from the sun.
Drink plenty of fluids: Don't wait to be thirsty to drink water, and increase your water consumption according to your activities during the day. If you have a restriction on fluid consumption due to a health problem, ask your doctor about the amount of fluid you should consume. Try not to consume tea, coffee or alcoholic beverages as much as possible as they will cause your body to lose fluid. It is also healthfull to consume very sugary, acidic and very cold drinks in a limited way.
Pay attention to your diet: Since foods such as meat with high protein content will increase metabolic heat, it will also increase body temperature. Therefore, choose mild foods.
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