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Avoid sun during peak hours, say docs

As the mercury continues its relentless onslaught, people are left battling with health conditions like heat cramps, dehydration and heat strokes.

delhi Updated: Jun 17, 2012 02:15 IST
HT Correspondent

As the mercury continues its relentless onslaught, people are left battling with health conditions like heat cramps, dehydration and heat strokes.

Excessive loss of salt and minerals in this blistering weather can cause dehydration.

Usually, the body sweats to maintain normal temperature. However, in extremely hot weather, this mechanism does not work very well and the body starts feeling exhausted after only a little exertion.

"This can cause headaches, drowsiness and muscle cramps. But it can also be life-threatening in severe cases, especially when the lost water is not replenished immediately," said a senior doctor in the medicine department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/6/17-06-pg5a.jpg

Elderly people who are above the age of 65, young children, obese people and those with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes are at a higher risk of collapsing if there is excess loss of water.

"It is best to avoid sun during the peak hours (between 11am to 4pm). But if you must step out, then drink at least a couple of glasses of water just before you leave home. Carry a water bottle and keep sipping a glass of water every hour. To replenish lost salts and minerals, take butter milk, coconut water and lime water," said Dr Rommel Tickoo, senior consultant (internal medicine), Max Super-Specialty Hospital, Saket.

Also, covering the head with a wet towel or an umbrella to avoid direct sun helps in minimising the damage.

The scorching sun is equally bad for the eyes as direct exposure can cause burning sensation and dryness in eyes.

Keeping eyes covered while going out by wearing wide-rimmed sunglasses is the best way to protect eyes.

But make sure the glasses are of good quality with ultraviolet (UV) protection coating. Or else, they can do more harm than good, warn eye specialists.

Experts also advise people to eat fruit with high water content like watermelon and litchi.