For most of us, summer means barbecues, family fun, and time in the pool. We protect ourselves with floppy hats and sunscreen while keeping hydrated to maintain our health. But, people who suffer from some chronic illnesses have more difficulty in the heat of the sun. These people need to be more cautious than ever.
Normal activities can be dangerous when it’s really hot and bright, making lengthy days outside risky for some. Even under control, some common medical conditions might flare up in the heat and sun. Continue reading about three common issues that can be triggered under the heat of the sun.
Migraines are excruciating headaches that can leave you feeling queasy and light-sensitive. Dehydration is a known cause of migraines. So while it’s hot outside, drink more water or electrolyte-containing beverages if you suffer from migraines.
The best action during an attack is staying inside where it’s quiet and not as bright. If you must venture outside, shield your eyes from the summer sun’s glare with polarized sunglasses, a hat, or an umbrella. And always make sure you’re hydrated before, during, and after. Taking care of yourself is essential as the best outcome is staving off the migraine altogether.
Joint pain and exhaustion are symptoms of autoimmune diseases, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. If you have any of these illnesses, you should limit your sun exposure because UV radiation might lead to flare-ups.
When the sun is at its highest, stay inside. You should also always protect your skin by wearing long sleeves, slacks, and broad-spectrum 30 SPF sunscreen composed of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Dealing with these conditions can be hard when you want to hang out with family outside. When you do, take the necessary precautions and monitor how you feel. There’s no need to stop your life. Just be mindful of what your specific triggers are.
The summer heat can be difficult for people with respiratory diseases like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The heat can cause breathing problems, increase your risk of dehydration and make it harder to get enough sleep.
Here are some tips to keep you healthy during the summer:
Stay indoors as much as possible when it’s hot outside. If you go out in the heat, try staying inside an air-conditioned building for at least two hours after being outside.
If you have asthma or COPD, take your medications exactly as your doctor prescribes. Don’t skip doses because you don’t feel sick — side effects from not taking your medications could be worse than getting sick from them. And keep extra inhalers with you at all times in an emergency.
These three issues are exacerbated by the summer sun and heat. Make sure you’re paying attention to family and friends suffering from these three. For everyone, make sure you wear sunscreen and drink lots of water so you can continue enjoying the long, lazy days.