Humidity can be defined as the amount of water vapor in the air. In order to understand humidity, you have to know that all around us, there is water in the air. This is the water vapor surrounding us, which is in the form of a gas. If there is too much or too little humidity in the air, it can be equally dangerous. If the earth was to have no humidity, we would have no clouds, thunder, lightning, rain, or snow.
We can’t live without humidity, in fact, some people use humidifiers to actually make their environment more humid, but it’s important to understand how to deal with it when it gets to be too much. You should know all of the signs that you should get out of the humidity or to a doctor because a lot of the effects of high humidity can be life-threatening. You might also be interested in reading about the benefits of owning a dehumidifier here.
Being exposed to hot temperatures for a prolonged period of time can cause many heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heatstroke, and heat exhaustion. As your body is trying to cool itself, your blood rushes to the surface of the skin, which means that less blood is going to your brain, muscles, and other vital organs. This can have a drastic effect on your mental capacity and physical strength. Any of these symptoms are a sign of heat-related illness:
When your body isn’t getting enough fluids, it goes through dehydration. You can tell that you are dehydrated by the color of your urine. If it’s a bright yellow to a dark orange color, you’re dehydrated. The darker it gets, the worse you are. You can also tell by these symptoms:
- Upset or burning sensation in the stomach
- Decreased energy
- Dry skin
- Dry mouth
- Lack of sweating
- Low blood pressure
- Delirious (severe symptom)
- Unconsciousness (Severe symptom)
So, what does this have to do with humidity? You see, when there isn’t much of a difference between the surface temperature of your skin and the ambient air temperatures, there’s not much your body can do to cool you down. The humidity makes it hard for your body to evaporate sweat because the air is already filled with water vapor. This means that your body is going to keep all of that extra heat built up, raising your core body temperature.
In order for your body to maintain its normal body temperature, it must evaporate the sweat. This is when you need to make sure your body has enough fluids in it to produce sweat. If you don’t, you’re going to overheat, which can lead to heatstroke.
How To Stay Hydrated
If you know it’s going to be a humid day, you want to make sure you follow a few precautions before going out in the heat. One of the first things you should do is have a glass of water as soon as you wake up and an hour before bed.
You should also schedule a good-sized drink whenever you eat. When doing this, avoid drinks with sugars, such as soda and alcohol, it will only dehydrate you more. You can also eat fruits and vegetables that have high water content. You can eat watermelon, pears, cucumber, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, blueberries, and pineapples.
Even though a lot of people think that more is better, you should avoid drinking too much water. Drinking more than your stomach can handle may make you nauseous and it will definitely make you feel bloated and weighed down.
Heatstroke is a condition that is caused by overheating. This happens when your body is exposed to heat for a long period of time, and it’s extremely dangerous. It’s a condition that requires emergency treatment. If it goes untreated, you can suffer from damage to your heart, brain, kidneys, and muscles. The damage gets worse the longer you go untreated. This could potentially lead to some very serious complications or even death. These are some symptoms of heatstroke:
- A headache
- Racing heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Alteration in sweating
- High body temperature
- Flushed skin
Get Out Of The Heat
One of the best things you can do for yourself to avoid this is to keep yourself hydrated and get out of the heat whenever possible. You should have a fan or an air conditioner running in the house paired with a dehumidifier. This will help the air conditioner cool the air if it’s already dry from the dehumidifier.
In a humid environment, mold and mildew thrive. Mold and mildew spores get into your body, it can be toxic to your body. This can cause you to suffer from nasal stiffness, coughing, wheezing, throat irritation, and skin irritation. Those who have mold allergies can suffer from more severe symptoms.
Keeping mold out of your home is essential for those who suffer from mold allergies. If your home already has mold in it, you can use a dehumidifier to stop the progression of it. It’s not going to kill it, but it will help to keep it contained. You should consider having the mold removed so that you aren’t suffering on humid days.
Dust mites are another pesky critter that thrives off of humidity levels. They are one of the biggest triggers for those who have asthma and allergies. In order to fend off these nuisances, you want to make sure the humidity level in your home is below 50 percent. You can do this by investing in a good dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are ideal for sucking the humidity out of homes.
Heat cramps are very common in those who exercise outside or in high humidity areas. You can have these cramps in the legs mostly because of the imbalances in body salts. As you exercise more and get used to the heat, the cramps will become less frequent. These can be quite painful, so if you’re planning to do some hot yoga or exercise outdoors on a humid day, make sure to keep your electrolytes up and know your limits.
If you are losing more fluids and salts through sweating faster than you can replace it, you may become dizzy or weak, this is called heat exhaustion. Your body temperature is going to rise, but this may not affect you until a few days after a heatwave because of the constant exposure. The best way to avoid this or defend against it is to drink a lot of fluids or take some salt tablets, but not before consulting with your physician.
Being exposed to humidity for long periods of time can be life-threatening, especially for children, the elderly, and those who have pre-existing conditions that are worsened by humidity or extreme heat. The best thing you can do for yourself is to either avoid it altogether, hydrate yourself as much as possible, but not too much, or limit your exposure by going inside where it’s cool for a little while before returning to the outdoors. As always, if you feel that you are suffering from something severe, such as heat stroke, call your doctor immediately. If you thought this article was informative and helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and family.