Four Medical Problems That Are More Common in Summer

Summers are filled with picnics, barbecues, beach trips and other fun activities, but they can also be a time of increased risks for specific types of disease. While it may seem like most illnesses occur during the cold months of winter, summer brings its own health issues, including these four common problems:

  • Asthma
    Summer staples like campfires and smoke from barbecue grills, significant changes in the weather including increases in humidity – even chlorine – can all increase the risk of asthma problems and allergic reactions, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
  • Swimmer’s ear
    Whether you swim in a pool, the ocean or a lake, the ear can trap water, and that can lead to infections. Swimmer’s ear is responsible for about 2.4 million trips to the doctor each year. Drying your ears thoroughly is the best way to prevent swimmer’s ear from occurring.
  • Food poisoning
    The warm summer weather provides ideal conditions for bacterial growth, and that means the risk for food poisoning increases dramatically. If you’re planning a barbecue or picnic, use these tips from the USDA to avoid food-borne illnesses.
  • Lyme disease
    Carried by tiny deer ticks hardly larger than the head of a pin, the CDC says Lyme disease affects tens of thousands of people each year. The agency provides tips on how to prevent tick bites and how to remove ticks once they’ve latched on.

Enjoying lazy summer days doesn’t mean being trapped indoors. Being aware of the risks of illness and disease that are most likely to occur in the summer is the best way to stay healthy and enjoy fun in the sun.

Six Surprising Facts about Heat Stroke

Heat stroke can be a serious danger during the summer months. Understanding what puts you at risk for heat stroke and what symptoms it causes are essential for your health and safety. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe:

  • Heat kills an average of 658 people every year in the U.S., according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that tracked heat-related deaths from 1999 to 2009.
  • The weather doesn’t have to be super-hot to create the conditions for heat stroke. People who play or work in direct sunlight as well as those who engage in physical activity outdoors can begin to experience symptoms of heat stroke while temperatures are in the 80s and humidity is 80 percent or more, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Even if you’re physically active, you can still be at an increased risk for heat stroke. People who are elderly or very young aren’t able to regulate temperatures as well as others, making them more susceptible to heat stroke. Those who are overweight or obese as well as those who have chronic diseases also stand at elevated risk, as do those who aren’t used to high temperatures.
  • Some medications can increase your risk for heat stroke, including blood pressure medications, antidepressants and ADHD medications.
  • Feeling hot isn’t always the primary symptom of heat stroke. In fact, some people first develop headache or light-headedness as the key symptoms. As heat stroke progresses, it can cause nausea and muscle cramps.
  • While it may seem logical to sweat more when you’re hot, in heat stroke, you actually stop sweating as your body’s temperature regulation controls shut down.

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