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Preparing for the Summer Heat: How to Avoid Fainting

With the heat of summer approaching, it is important to use precautions to prevent overheating which can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even fainting. With excessive heat causing difficulties in maintaining blood pressure, it is especially important for those who have trouble with their blood pressure already. Healthy people and the “faint of heart” are equally vulnerable to the effects of heat as it makes it more difficult for the body to respond to the changes of blood pressure, especially when standing up quickly. Symptoms that may occur prior to fainting include sweating, nausea or abdominal discomfort and paleness. Fainting is a common symptom among the elderly which prompts a visit to the emergency room.

How do you prevent fainting? Some tips for you:

  • Stay hydrated – this will improve blood pressure and help maintain it; it can also help keep you feeling “cool”.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures – this includes outside temperatures during the summer as well as hot showers. When temperatures in your home get too extreme, use air conditioning and/or a fan.
  • Avoid fasting for a prolonged time – this may contribute to fainting spells which may not be as prevalent otherwise.
  • Avoid alcohol – alcohol can dehydrate you.
  • Avoid hyperventilation – hyperventilation in itself can cause fainting, so when other factors are involved, do your best to avoid this.
  • Avoid sudden posture changes – when you stand up, shift your weight from one leg to another. If you begin to feel dizzy, cross your legs and clench your muscles to help prevent fainting.

In the case that you faint despite your attempts at preventing it, it is important to contact a medical professional. It is not always easy to determine the cause of fainting as several factors are involved.

Click here to read more about fainting and how to prevent it.