The term “heatwave” has entered popular vernacular over the years, often referring to extremely hot days. This meteorological occurrence, however, has a technical definition. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has established many criteria for declaring a heatwave in a location.
A heatwave is declared when the highest temperature in the plains reaches at least 40 degrees Celsius, at least 37 degrees Celsius along the coast, and at least 30 degrees Celsius in mountainous areas. A heatwave is also called when the maximum temperature rises by 4.5 to 6.4 degrees Celsius above average. When the maximum temperature deviates from normal and exceeds 6.4 degrees Celsius, a severe heatwave is proclaimed. A heat wave occurs when an area has a maximum temperature of more than 45 degrees Celsius and up to 47 degrees Celsius on any one day.
How heat wave impacts your body
“Children and teenagers, particularly girls, as well as persons with pre-existing mental, physical, and medical issues, and the elderly, are particularly vulnerable,” it states.
The Lancet’s 2021 climate change report also mentioned the impact of high heat on mental health around the world.
“Increases in heat extremes associated with climate change pose multiple threats to global mental health, ranging from altered affective states to increased mental health-related hospital admissions and suicidality,” the report stated.
According to mental health professionals, acute physical tiredness and restlessness caused by high temperatures can lead to sadness and anxiety. Due to the high heat, there has also been an upsurge in the number of suicides.
Vomiting and nausea
You don’t want to eat during the summer. Nausea is another regularly mentioned symptom. Summer nausea and vomiting are caused by the effects of excessive heat. The heat also affects your digestion. Your digestive system is unable to function properly as a result of dehydration. As a result, digestive disorders such as nausea and vomiting are common.
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Tiredness and sluggishness
To be active and healthy, you must drink enough nutrients and water.
Excessive sweating causes the body to lose water, which is one of the reasons you feel weary and weak during the summer.
Summer headaches are extremely prevalent. You now understand why your head hurts for no apparent reason: high heat.
Blood pressure is too low
Dehydration can cause low blood pressure, which might make you dizzy.
Cramps in the abdomen
You may have observed that a lot of individuals are complaining about stomach cramps these days. Well, you can blame it on the heat. These cramps can be caused by poor digestion, poor eating habits, dehydration, and significant fluid and electrolyte loss.
Aside from these symptoms, extreme heat can cause dry skin, rashes, excessive sweating, and irritation.
How to deal with heatwave
Make sure Air conditions are well fitted
If you do not have central air conditioning Preparing your home for a heatwave entails several minor actions that might help you keep cool air in and hot air out. If you have window air conditioners, be sure they are properly placed. Fill any holes around the sidewalls with insulation. A home improvement store can provide you with insulating foam panels or spray foam. You should also ensure that the air-conditioning vents and ducts are properly insulated. It’s a good idea to fix or replace a broken air conditioner before it’s too late.
Cover windows that are exposed to the sun in the morning and afternoon
Even with reflectors, it is a good idea to use drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers to cover windows that receive a lot of sunlight. Closing the draperies on the inside will help, but exterior awnings and louvers can minimize heat entering a home by up to 80%.
Many department and home improvement stores also sell heat and light-blocking drapes. These can aid in keeping the room cool.
Stay hydrated and try to take more liquid
Many of the health issues that might arise during a heat wave are related to dehydration, so make sure you drink plenty of water or an electrolyte-containing sports drink. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, continue to sip regularly. Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea, and restrict your alcohol consumption. It is recommended that you drink 4 glasses of water every hour when it is extremely hot outside. However, if you gulp this all at once, you may experience some pain. Before increasing the number of liquids you consume, you should visit a doctor in the following cases: If you have epilepsy, heart illness, liver disease, or renal disease.
- It’s critical to maintain eating, but you should adjust your eating habits to the temperature. Eating is an effective way to regulate your body temperature. Rather than two or three large plates of food, eat well-balanced and light meals regularly. Larger meals require more effort to digest, causing your body temperature to rise.
- Protein-rich foods, such as meats and nuts, will raise metabolic heat.
- Fresh fruit, salads, nutritious snacks, and vegetables are all excellent options.
Replace lost salts and minerals as well as water if you sweat a lot. A handful of salted nuts or pretzels is a nice option, as is a sports beverage with electrolytes or fruit juice. Take salt tablets only if instructed to do so.
Dress appropriately according to the heat
Indoors and out, it is critical to remove any heavy garments and to dress as modestly and legally as possible. Wear clothing that is loose-fitting, lightweight, and light in color. Natural fibers such as linen, cotton, and hemp are acceptable alternatives. Wearing polyester and flannel will cause you to sweat, causing you to stew in the humid air.
To avoid sunburn, wear at least 30 SPF sunscreen when going outside. Wear a vented, wide-brimmed hat to protect your head and face. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses Consider wearing apparel composed of synthetic athletic fibers that wick away perspiration. Dark hues absorb heat and should be avoided.
Don’t overexert yourself
As much as possible, avoid intense work or exercise. This is especially important during the hottest part of the day, which is usually between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you must work outside, form a buddy system so that you are not alone. Take frequent rest and drink plenty of water. Keep a close eye on how you’re feeling.
Stop immediately if your heart is racing and you’re out of breath. Rest in a cool place and drink plenty of water.
If you feel yourself growing overheated, don’t push yourself. If the heat index exceeds 103F (39.5C), inquire about delaying non-essential activities for a cooler time.
During the day, avoid strenuous, heated travel or movement. If you must travel, the ideal time to do so is at night, when temperatures are substantially lower. It’s a good idea to carry a hand fan with you, especially if you’re going outside. On a hot bus, it can be a lifeline! Examine your pee to see if you’re dehydrated. Normal urine should be clear or light yellow. You may be dehydrated if the color gets any darker. If this is the case, you should drink more water. Make sure you have enough water to drink.
Overnight, try freezing a bottle of water. The water will freeze and defrost throughout the day, keeping the water cool all day. Wear light-colored, breathable clothing.
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