Summer health problems
Courtesy of best health
Stay safe this summer
Summertime is all about outdoor fun—trips to the cottage, lazy days on the beach, hikes in the woods, and meals cooked on the grill. Here’s how to handle common warm-weather ailments so you can keep the good times going.
The sap of these plants can cause allergic skin reactions: itching, blisters, burning, redness and swelling. They can also affect the eyes and mouth. Avoid contact—learn what these botanical villains look like. If you touch one, wash the affected area with soap and water—this may prevent a reaction if done within an hour of contact. Flush out your eyes with water, too, and wash your clothes. Relieve itching with an antihistamine ointment. Rashes usually aren’t serious, but if the reaction is severe, seek medical attention.
If you’ve been splashing around at the lake or beach and now your ear is inflamed or irritated, you’ve likely got swimmer’s ear. Symptoms include itchiness, pain, greenish or yellowish discharge, and hearing loss. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eardrops, plus medications for itching, inflammation and pain.
Bacteria and pollution cause swimmer’s ear, but so do objects lodged in the ear, scratching the ear or irritating the skin by trying to clean wax from the canal. Dry your ears thoroughly, avoid dirty water, and don’t stick anything in your ear canals!
There are 11 million cases of foodborne illness in Canada annually, and many people who get sick don’t realize what’s happening. Pathogens such as salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, E. coli and listeria are uninvited guests at summer get-togethers. Depending on the microorganism, they can cause symptoms like fever, chills, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, nausea, vomiting and dizziness, hours or days after exposure. Serious cases can lead to death.
Sunlight, including light bouncing off water, sand and concrete, can burn your corneas, a painful condition known as photokeratitis. Over time, exposure to UV can age your eyes’ lenses, leading to cataracts, macular degeneration and other vision problems.
Protect your peepers with a hat and sunglasses that shield against UVA and UVB rays. You could also spend less time outdoors when the sun is strongest (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).