x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

How to beat the heat

How to in the UAE: With the temperatures soaring to more than 40C, heat-related illnesses are on the rise in the Emirates.

Heat cramps affect people who perspire a lot during a strenuous activity or are exposed to heat for a long time.
Heat cramps affect people who perspire a lot during a strenuous activity or are exposed to heat for a long time.

With the temperatures soaring to more than 40C, heat-related illnesses are on the rise in the Emirates.

People sweat profusely, develop a rapid heart rate, muscle cramps and even faint.

The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under extreme conditions, a person's body temperature rises rapidly.

Heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat rash and sunburn are some illnesses caused by long term heat exposure.

Heat stroke is caused when the body is unable to cool itself due to the extreme environmental conditions, or when the body produces excessive amounts of heat.

The main sign of heat stroke is elevated body temperature which can go past 40C.

"It is life-threatening," said Dr Joseph Manna, the chairman of the emergency department at Al Ain Hospital. "Perspiration stops, there is mental confusion and one becomes unresponsive."

Most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, those with high blood pressure and people working or exercising in hot weather. Heat cramps affect people who perspire a lot during a strenuous activity or are exposed to heat for a long time.

While working outdoors, labourers should drink plenty of water, not over-exhaust themselves and wear light breathable clothing, Dr Manna said.

"Workers here tend to overdress," he said. "They wear heavy clothes, including jumpsuits."

Residents are advised to stay hydrated, take lots of breaks and avoid being exposed to direct sunlight during the peak hours.

They should take frequent breaks, pace themselves and stay in shaded areas specially during midday.

For more information, visit the Health Authority Abu Dhabi website.

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