American Heart Association warns of heat exhaustion, heat stroke during hot weather

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The American Heart Association is providing tips for how a person can better protect their heart during this week’s heat wave.

FORECAST | 100º heat indices late week

Extreme heat can be hard on one’s heart, as it increases the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

These are the symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • headaches
  • heavy sweating 
  • cold, moist skin, chills 
  • dizziness or fainting (syncope) 
  • a weak and rapid pulse 
  • muscle cramps 
  • fast, shallow breathing 
  • nausea, vomiting or both

These are the symptoms of heat stroke:

  • warm, dry skin with no sweating 
  • strong and rapid pulse 
  • confusion and/or unconsciousness 
  • high fever 
  • throbbing headaches 
  • nausea, vomiting or both

Anyone who experiences symptoms of these conditions should immediately seek medical attention.

Here are the health tips provided by the American Heart Association:

  • Watch the clock:  It’s best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (about noon to 3 p.m.) because the sun is usually at its strongest, putting you at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.
  • Get off on the right foot: You probably sweat the most in your shoes, so choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel perspiration. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help with sweat.
  • Dress for the heat: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a newer fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat and/or sunglasses. Before you get started, apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and reapply it every two hours.
  • Drink up: Stay hydrated by drinking a few cups of water before, during and after your exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Take regular breaks: Find some shade or a cool place, stop for a few minutes, hydrate and start again
  • Follow the doctor’s orders: If you are a heart patient, over the age of 50, overweight or just starting an exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor for your best exercise routine.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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