Adverse Health Effects of High Humidity

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Protect yourself against the adverse effects of high humidity.
Protect yourself against the adverse effects of high humidity. (Image: Stanley Chou/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images)

Humidity is the amount of moisture present in the atmosphere, it is often most noticeable during the summer months. The combination of high temperatures and humidity can cause adverse health effects that include, but are not limited to fatigue, cramping muscles, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. It is important to pay attention to your body's warning signals and remember that, in extreme cases, high humidity combined with heat can be fatal.

Fatigue

Heat and high humidity can cause fatigue. This is usually the result of over-exerting yourself in a climate that your body is unaccustomed to. Symptoms include loss of mental clarity, lack of eye and hand coordination, feelings of weakness, and possible dizziness.

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramping occurs when you have gone past being fatigued and continue to push your body to perform physical tasks. The failure to drinking enough fluids to keep your body hydrated is often a contributing factor. High heat and humidity cause you to lose fluids at a higher rate, and must be replaced to avoid further complications.

Heat Exhaustion

Exhaustion can occur when you lose too much fluid through perspiration and your body temperature becomes slightly elevated. Highly humid conditions do not allow your body to cool itself through evaporation of the sweat. Your may begin to experience feelings of sickness, irrational thinking, extreme tiredness, profuse sweating, dizziness. and excessive thirst. These symptoms are not to be ignored. If they begin to occur, it is important to get out of the heat, and replenish the lost fluids by drinking water and drinks that contain electrolytes.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the result of your body no longer having the ability to control its internal temperature. At this point you stop sweating and your core temperature rises up to 104 degrees or even higher. You may experience mental confusion or completely pass out. This is a very dangerous health effect of heat and high humidity that can be fatal. It is extremely important to seek help, or have someone seek medical help for you.

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