Read our latest update.
It’s no secret that weather can trigger a flare-up of some health conditions. Osteoarthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are two examples. But some people aren’t aware of one danger associated with weather: the impact of high humidity on blood pressure.
Research shows that high humidity can present serious health risks for people with high blood pressure and heart disease. That’s why it’s important for caregivers to learn the warning signs of heat-related illness, along with steps to prevent it.
High Humidity and High Blood Pressure
Humidity is a measurement of how much moisture is in the air. Health experts say a senior’s risk begins to rise when the temperature outside is over 70 degrees and the humidity is at 70 percent or greater.
When it’s hot and humid outside, the heart has to work much harder. The body may need to circulate twice as much blood per minute as it does on an average day.
Despite how heavily you might sweat, high humidity makes it difficult to cool down. Excessive sweating increases a senior’s risk for dehydration because it lowers the amount of fluid in the body. The result is greater strain on the heart. That’s especially dangerous for a senior who lives with high blood pressure or heart disease.
12 Heat-Related Warning Signs Caregivers Should Recognize
If you are the caregiver for a senior loved one, it’s important to be able to recognize the warning signs of heat and humidity-related illnesses.
If your loved one is exhibiting a few of these symptoms, don’t wait to seek medical assistance. That often means calling 911.
4 Steps to Prevent a Humidity-Related Health Crisis
Here are a few ways you might be able to help a senior avoid a heat or humidity-related illness:
If you are struggling to gain the cooperation of an older adult in your life when it comes to heat and humidity risks, we have some suggestions you might find helpful. Read Having a "Heat Intervention" With a Senior to learn more.