By Contributing Author
Despite the importance of the sun and sunlight in our lives, they can pose a great threat to our health, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Exposure to solar radiation can be dangerous. Since it contains several types of harmful rays: infrared, ultraviolet, gamma, x-ray, and, of course, the light that is visible to our eyes. To avoid these hazards you can either limit the time spent outside or try and protect yourself using some basic preventive measures.
Keeping Humidity in Check
If you happen to work 5 days a week in the office or you tend to spend most of your time at home there are a couple of ways you can check the indoor humidity level. By using a psychrometer (wet-and-dry-bulb thermometer), or a simple hygrometer can make your life a bit easier since it just monitors the humidity level.
Means of Precaution
Here are some tips that will help you resist sun radiation better and minimize its harm to your health. Stay in the shade whenever possible, if you are outside. You can make the best use of it by staying under the trees, sunshades or by simply using the shady side of the street.
Wear loose clothing with long sleeves and pants. The clothes must be of light color to prevent the body overheating.
Even though using wet clothing might seem like a good idea, you need to remember that wet clothes won’t protect you against sun radiation. That’s why it is important to always keep your clothes dry. In addition, you can wear a hat that is big enough to create a shade that protects your ears and neck. Try not to use straw hats though, since sunlight can go through its holes. Use hats that are made of tight fabric, preferably of dark color. Wearing sunglasses can be an additional mean of protection. Sunglasses protect our eyes from ultraviolet rays, one of the main causes of cataract formation.
The usage the sunscreen cosmetics can disperse or even reflect the effects of sunlight on the skin. Some sunscreen lotions can also keep your skin moisturized, that also helps prevent dehydration. At the same time artificial tanning may sound like a good idea (due to the opinion that tanned people can tolerate sunlight better) but in reality, the fake tan cosmetics make you vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation, which can cause melanoma.
Dangers of Overexposure to Sunlight
The natural reaction of our bodies when it’s getting too hot is sweating. There’s nothing you can do about it, especially in summer. But when our body fails to retain the natural balance of fluids it can be dangerous. Most people don’t consider dehydration a serious issue, even though they should. A rapid loss of body fluids can be a serious threat to your health and even your life, if not taken seriously. If not treated correctly in time, the dehydration can result in a heat stroke and can even be lethal in some cases.
Dehydration usually occurs during prolonged sports activities but can also sneak up on elderly people, children, and others that are vulnerable. Without proper treatment, it can pose a threat to the functioning of vital organs. A mild dehydration leads to rapid pulse, strong thirst, a decrease in cognitive functions. The moderate and severe dehydration usually leads to dizziness, headache, disturbances of hearing and vision and even hallucinations. That’s why it is important to be aware of humidity level and the body water balance as well.
How to Protect Yourself?
To avoid dehydration you can follow some basic rules that are seemingly simple yet effective. Plan your traveling time accordingly to the time of day. There is a reason why the majority of the local population prefer to stay indoors from 2 to 4 PM. During that time the sun rays are the hottest and it is recommended to limit your hiking at daytime. Fortunately, you can easily hike until late hours since the streets are lit until 8 PM and in some major cities even until 10 PM.
The loss of just 2-5% body fluids can be extremely harmful to your health. It is important to watch weather forecasts, keep in mind what the temperature and relative humidity will be when you plan your outdoor activities. The latter can be crucial if you want to avoid dehydration. Watching a weather forecast is a simple task, however, when you spend a lot of time indoors it may be tricky to keep track of humidity level.
To keep your body protected from the hazards of being exposed to the extensive sunlight make sure to drink a lot of water. It will be a good idea to plan your daily fluid consumption according to your schedule. Sometimes it may be tricky, especially if you plan to visit areas without natural sources of water. In this case, we recommend keeping at least 2-3 liters of drinking water with you at all times.
With all this in mind and by following the easy steps mentioned above you can reduce the effect of sunlight significantly and, at the same time, prevent your body from overheating and dehydration.