Stay Safe in the Summer Heat

For most of us, summer often brings excessive heat, which can lead to heat-related problems caused by hyperthermia, an abnormally high body temperature. Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions are particularly susceptible to hyperthermia and are at high risk for heat-related deaths. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, has some tips to help older people avoid the hazards of hot weather.

Hyperthermia is caused by a failure of the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body to deal with the heat coming from the environment. Heat fatigue (sudden dizziness after prolonged exposure to the heat), heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all forms of hyperthermia. These conditions can pose special health risks for older adults, and can increase with the combination of outside temperature, general health, and individual lifestyle.

Here are the following factors that may increase hyperthermia risk: Continue reading…