Summer is the perfect time for all ages to get outdoors and enjoy the warmth and sunshine. However, if you have heart disease, you need to take some extra precautions when when temperatures soar. Here are some tips on safety in the heat from Mercy Heart Center’s Mary Bosyj.
As the summer temperatures go up, so does the workload on your heart muscle. The heart has to beat faster and work harder to pump blood to your skin to help with sweating to cool your body.
If you have heart disease, your heart may not be able to work harder in the heat to maintain a cooler body, and you will have an increased risk for developing heat stroke.
Heat Stroke Is an Emergency!
If you experience the following symptoms, apply cool water to your skin immediately and seek medical help.
- High fever
- Hot, dry skin without sweating
- Pounding pulse
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Stay Healthy in the Heat
In order to stay healthy in hot weather, people with heart disease should:
- Stay inside during the hottest part of the day
- Try to stay in an air-conditioned environment
- Limit strenuous outdoor activities
- Wear loose-fitting, light clothing
- Stay hydrated and avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Carry a cell phone and call for help immediately if stranded in the heat
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