Heat, humidity can be dangerous for some with illnesses
Published Wednesday, August 8, 2018 10:56PM ADT
Relief is on the way Thursday, but it was another day of uncomfortably hot weather in the Maritimes and some are starting to feel the effects.
Wednesday’s heat and humidity were uncomfortable for many, and downright-dangerous for some.
Those on the front-lines of health care say the overall number of calls hasn't increased, but certain types of medical emergencies have.
“People with illnesses like breathing problems, heart problems, those types of things that are exacerbated by the heat so they become much worse and harder to deal with the problems they already have,” said John (Bud) Sanford of Emergency Health Services.
Nova Scotia's 811 health line says traffic is up substantially on its web-page for heat-related issues for both adults and children.
For some, weather like this is a matter of “life and breath.”
“A lot of times, in this kind of heat, people with lung health issues tend to experience bronchial-spasms, where the nerves are activated in the lungs, so it causes the airways to narrow and tighten, obviously making it more difficult for them to breathe,” said Michelle Donaldson of the Nova Scotia Lung Association.
It’s difficult, too, for the less fortunate, who have fewer options to escape the heat.
Meals are still the big draw at Souls Harbour Rescue Mission, but fans and air conditioning in the dining room are appreciated more at the moment, and some clothing donations are in higher demand.
“We are seeing a lot of people ask us for cooler clothing and so we're giving away shorts and t-shirts and tanks just trying to keep people cool,” said Ken Porter.
With another day of soaring temperatures in the books, the season of sunshine marches on, with Maritimers feeling the heat, and some coping better than others.
Experts say you can avoid heat related illnesses by drinking lots of water, staying in the shade whenever possible, and taking plenty of breaks to do both if you have to work outside. Wearing light-coloured, light-weight clothing is also helpful.
It's also a good idea to check in on elderly neighbors, because, although the forecast is calling for cooler temperatures tomorrow, there’s still plenty of summer to come.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.