Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness

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Are you prepared to handle the heat this summer? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines extreme heat as summertime temperatures that are much hotter and humid than average. As a result, heat-related illnesses occur. Stay safe this summer by knowing how to prevent, recognize and cope with heat-related illnesses.1

What is Heat-Related Illness?

Heat-related illnesses happen when a person’s body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down.1 Certain factors may increase your risk of developing a heat-related illness:1

  • High levels of humidity
  • Obesity
  • Prescription drug use
  • Dehydration
  • Poor circulation

Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat-related illnesses are preventable. Know the signs and symptoms to protect you or a loved one:

  1. Heat Stroke: This is the most serious heat-related illness. When it occurs, the body temperature can rise to 105°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.2
    • What to look for: Body temperature of 103°F or higher, hot or damp skin, nausea, confusion and passing out.1
    • What to do: Call 911 immediately, do not give the person anything to drink, help lower body temperature with a cool bath or cloths.1
  2. Heat Exhaustion: This happens after the body loses an excessive amount of water and salt, typically through excessive sweating.2
    • What to look for: Cold and pale skin, weak pulse, muscle cramps, dizziness, headache and weakness.1
    • What to do: Move to a cool place, loosen your clothes, sip water. Get medical help if you are throwing up or your symptoms last longer than an hour.1
  3. Heat Cramps: Heat cramps are caused by sweating that depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels.2
    • What to look for: Muscle spasms, muscle pain and heavy sweating during intense exercise.1
    • What to do: Stop any physical activity and drink water. Seek medical help if cramps last longer than an hour or if you have heart problems.2
  4. Heat Rash: Heat rash is a skin irritation from excessive sweating during hot weather.1
    • What to look for: Red clusters of small blisters on the skin.1
    • What to do: Stay in a cool, dry place and use baby powder to soothe the rash.1

For more information on heat-related illnesses check out this infographic.

Preventing Heat-Related Illness

Here are three things to remember to help prevent heat-related illnesses:

  1. Stay Cool: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. Additionally, try and limit your outdoor activity when it is extremely hot outside.3
  2. Stay Hydrated: Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink something. Even if you are not active, drink plenty of fluids.3
  3. Stay Informed: Check out your local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.html
  2. Heat Stress Related Illness | NIOSH | CDC
  3. Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness | Natural Disasters and Severe Weather | CDC

Can Your Medications Increase Your Sensitivity to The Sun?

Woman at the beach covering her face with a hat
Image Source: Tomas Salas/Unsplash

We’re all aware that most medications can have a variety of side effects, but did you know that one of them can be an increased sensitivity to the sun? There are a multitude of medications that can increase your risk of sunburn or even cause photosensitivity. Summer is almost here, so be sure you’re prepared to stay safe in the sun!

How Can a Medication Increase My Sun Sensitivity?1

Photosensitivity is a reaction set off by the sun’s ultraviolet rays and can result in two different reactions.

  1. Phototoxic Reaction: Occurs when UV radiation reacts with a drug to form compounds that damage the skin.
    • Results: Sunburn-like symptoms
  1. Photoallergic Reaction: This is less common, but usually happens when UV light changes a substance applied to the skin, causing an immune response.
    • Results: Bumps, hives, blisters, or red blotches

How to Prevent Sun Sensitivity2

  1. Check Your Meds: Check prescription medications to see if sun sensitivity is listed as a side effect.
  2. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water!
  3. Cover Up: Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing or try to stay in the shade as much as you can!

 

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/beware-of-sunburn-boosters#1
  2. https://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/can-your-meds-make-you-more-sensitive-to-sun-and-heat/

Protecting your Heart in the Summer Heat

Heart outline in the sand near the ocean
Image Source: Khadeeja Yasser/Unsplash

It’s that time of year again! Time to pack away your winter sweaters and break out your summer shorts. While we’re all looking forward to a little warmer weather it’s important to be aware of how heat can impact your health, especially if you have a history of heart disease. Certain heart medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics (which deplete the body of sodium) can exaggerate the body’s response to heat.1

We’re here to help you with a few tips so you can stay safe and have fun this summer!

Everyday Tips (Three D’s)

  • Dress Right: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a synthetic fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat, sunglasses and well-ventilated shoes.
  • Drink: Stay hydrated! Drink water before, during and after you exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Do-Nothing: Every once and awhile, stop and find a cool place to relax and hydrate for a few minutes.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Headaches
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark urine

Symptoms of Heat Stroke:

  • Fever (temperature above 104 °F)
  • Irrational behavior
  • Extreme confusion
  • Dry, hot, and red skin
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

 

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,

reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Source: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Protect-Your-Heart-in-the-Heat_UCM_423817_Article.jsp#.WwRlt0gvyHu