Summer is a great time to enjoy fun outdoor activities with your friends and family. Unfortunately, this season also brings an increased risk for many illnesses and injuries due to the soaring temperatures and more active lifestyles. Educating yourself on some common health issues that arise in the summer is one of the best ways to stay proactive and keep these sometimes deadly conditions at bay.
Today, let’s take a closer look at four common summer health concerns so that you can make the most of the rest of the season!
The hot and humid summertime air can be a big trigger for asthmatics, aggravating asthma conditions. The humidity also causes air pollution, pollen levels, and mold levels to rise, which are additional asthma triggers. To start, be aware of pollen levels and avoid going outdoors as much as possible on the days when they’re high. Make sure to have your inhaler and other medication filled and on-hand in case an asthma attack strikes. Lastly, discuss with your primary care physician if taking daily controller medication would be a good option to treat your asthma symptoms this summer.
Did you know that heat stroke can be fatal if treatment is delayed? Heat stroke occurs when the body cannot control its internal temperature and rises up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. Symptoms include confusion, slurred speech, excessive sweating, and seizures. If you believe you or a loved one is experiencing a heat stroke, call 911 right away. Try to cool the body as soon as possible by moving to the shade or air conditioning and applying cold water or ice to the skin.
If you grew up spending every summer in the pool or at the beach, you’re probably familiar with swimmer’s ear. This pesky infection comes from bacteria or fungi growth due to trapped water in the ear canal. To prevent this annoying condition and skip a doctor’s visit, make sure to thoroughly dry the ears after swimming. Place a towel over the ear and tilt your head to one side to allow the water to escape. If water remains, pull on the ear lobe in several directions to help the water release down the ear canal. You can also use drops to more quickly dry up the clogged water and prevent infection.
With the increase of outdoor activities, summer also brings a higher likelihood of poison ivy. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that 70 to 85 percent of the population has an allergy to urushiol, the sap produced by the poison ivy plant. If you find yourself with this itchy, swelling rash, don’t panic! First, reach for a hydrocortisone or calamine cream to treat the rash. You can also take oral antihistamines such as Benadryl to decrease the reaction.