While the UK has had its typical handful of warm days for “summer”, the likes of Australia will soon be moving into their warmer months. With increased heat can come new or worsened health conditions, but there are ways to mitigate potential effects. This collaborative post covers just 5 simple suggestions for reducing health conditions in hot weather.
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When you have a pre-existing health condition, certain times of the year might be harder than others. For some, these struggles can occur more in the summer, when the world seems brighter and the air is hotter. Rather than waiting for symptoms to appear before making changes, it can sometimes be good to simply assume they might crop up and take proactive, precautionary steps. Although you may not want to let your condition dictate your lifestyle, some due thought can be far better than what you may experience otherwise.
1. Wear Quality Sunglasses
Some eye and head conditions can be more sensitive to the glowing sun in summer. For instance, those who get bad migraines may find that they are more susceptible to bright light, but they don’t want to shy away from it because they want to enjoy the nicer weather before the rain and clouds descend once more.
One obvious and simple way to find some relief is through wearing quality sunglasses, such as those offered at EyeBuyDirect, to limit the amount of light that can penetrate the eyes while still allowing them to make the most of the longer days. Sunglasses may be more important than you think, whether or not you have current health conditions.
By making your vision darker, you may find that your migraines or headaches occur less frequently if light is a trigger for you. However, there is no guarantee that this will work 100% of the time, so you may also want to factor in other solutions you have found. If you’re in a migraine flare or just coming through the other side, many people find light still pretty intolerable, so sunglasses can help you continue your day if you’re functional enough to whatever the weather.
Sunglasses can also be made with your existing lens prescription, which can then also allow you to minimize the likelihood of headaches brought about by eye strain.
Ensure the sunglasses offer UV protection, which should be stated as something like 100% UV protection or UV absorption of up to 400nm. You don’t want simple cosmetic shades that don’t offer any real protection to your eyes. Sunglasses are important for protecting the eyes against harmful UV light that could, with extended long-term exposure, lead to the likes of eye surface tissue elevations and put up risk of macular degeneration or cataracts.
2. Stay Hydrated & Hygienic
Another group of people who may suffer a bit more in the heat are those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other bowel and stomach-related conditions. The heat can make you lose fluids much quicker, which can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort and cramps, potentially with an upset tummy or the opposite with constipation.
While it’s typically recommended that you increase your intake of water in warmer weather, while being mindful of the risk of excessive water intake, this can also be a good time to cut back on alcohol. Alcohol can further inflame the gut and with dehydration can come headaches and worsened symptoms like fatigue or nausea. If you do want to have a drink but find it doesn’t bode well with your health, try and keep it minimal and imbibe just a little once it has cooled down on the evening.
When it comes to al fresco dining and BBQs, always make sure to abide by good food safety practices, like washing hands after touching raw meat, ensuring meat is cooked well through and not reusing utensils across raw produce. It’s good to keep in mind good personal hygiene at all times anyway, like thorough and regular hand washing. Hygiene and safety measures will reduce the likelihood of a new health problem, cold or infection cropping up.
It’s also worth checking your body from time to time, especially if you’ve been out in fields and long grass. Look out for any insect bites and be mindful of ticks that can lead to Lyme disease.
3. Pace It Out To The Max In The Hot Weather
If you struggle with chronic illness, pain and/or fatigue, the summer may just zap any small particles of energy you have left. Some people find the nicer weather has the opposite effect, but if you’re one of those that feel extra lethargic and poorly when the mercury rises, then be mindful of this. It’s unrealistic and unfair on you to have a lengthy to-do list and high expectations of being busy. Be kind to yourself, make time for self-care and try to prioritise your needs.
It may be frustrating, but pacing can be very important at the best of times, let alone when fatigue hits harder. Overdoing it will lead to payback for the hours or days after, and if the heat increases your symptoms then it’ll be all the worse. Try to prevent too severe a burnout by pacing and looking after yourself as best you can if possible.
4. Keep Antihistamines At Hand
Allergens and pollen in the air during the spring and summer months particularly can play havoc for those with asthma, as well as anyone who suffers from hay fever. Keeping a pack of antihistamines on you means that you may be able to help your body combat some of these effects.
While you may want to avoid contact with allergens, it can be incredibly difficult when they are airborne, especially if you live in a rural area. Drinking adequate amounts of water or squash to keep flushing your system can also help. If you find symptoms are still worse indoors or you can’t shut all the windows because of the heat, try to vacuum regularly, change your clothes and shower when you get home after going out, consider an air purifier, and perhaps try a barrier of balm, like Vaseline, around the nose to trap pollen being breathed in.
5. Keep Cool
There are various things to try to cool you down when things get overwhelming in the hot weather. You might want a fan to circulate air in your bedroom or living room, but be mindful of using one for extended periods if you have something like Sjogrens or dry eyes as they can be drying.
In the bedroom, there are things like cooling sheets and pillowcases, which, along with cooler pyjamas (unless you fancy sleeping in the nod), can make warm nights a little more comfortable.
There are ice packs that can go in the freezer and be ready to grab when things get sweaty, whether you want a wrap for your head or an icy eye mask for your eyes. There are also cooling towels that can be popped in the freezer and then placed around your shoulders for an instant cool down, or cool pads that you can pop your aching hot feet on while watching the TV.
Health conditions can be incredibly stressful, whether you’re dealing with chronic illness symptoms or new conditions that crop up in the summer months. To make the most of the warmer weather, it can be good to have plans in case an attack or deterioration occurs. This will allow you to continue enjoying your time as much as possible, while feeling proactive that you’ve done all you can to manage your health. As always, if you have concerns or questions, please speak to your doctor.
[ This is a collaborative post ]