How Weather Affects the Human Body

How Weather Affects the Human Body

Have you wondered why you suddenly feel dizzy, why your joint pain flairs up, or why your eyes are itchy? Those symptoms could be related to the current weather conditions!

Learn more below about how weather can affect our bodies, health, and how we feel.

Family sweating under the sun with temperature on thermometer rising

Heat and Sweating: Our bodies naturally cool us by sweating. The ability to sweat depends on the humidity in the air. If it’s dry outside with low humidity, we don’t notice how much we sweat because it can evaporate very quickly. This is when it is important to drink electrolyte-enhanced beverages to maintain proper hydration. If it’s humid outside, we feel sticky and muggy because our bodies are unable to efficiently sweat and cool our skin. This can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. The heat index can help us stay ahead of heat illnesses and be prepared for potentially dangerous environments.

Multiple figures dressed for cold temperatures on a green background

Wind and Cold
Alternatively, winter weather conditions like wind and cold temperature can also be dangerous for maintaining our body temperature. In cold environments, heat is drawn away from the body at a faster rate when the wind speed increases over exposed skin. The wind chill can help us stay safe and properly dressed in these extreme environments and watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

Cartoon characters showing signs of aches and pains

Pressure, Migraines & Joint Pain
Very high or low pressure, or rapid changes in pressure can increase arthritis and joint pain. In addition, minor changes in pressure can cause discomfort in our sinuses, inducing migraines or headaches in non-migraine sufferers. Stay ahead of this pain and make your own pressure and pain correlations by monitoring the atmospheric pressure changes at your house.

Particles being inhaled into the respiratory system of the human body

What We Breathe: Mold, Air Pollution, Dust, Smoke
Do you suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies? From minor allergies to severe asthma, many people are affected by the air we breathe, whether they are aware or not. This is because everything we breathe in the air can affect our health. Any particles size 10 μm or smaller can be inhaled and get into our respiratory system and some may even get into our bloodstream. This includes anything from pollens, mold, and dust to smoke and air pollution. The image below shows just how small these particles are when compared to a human hair.

Small particle size comparison to a human hair

Image credit EPA:

Itchy eyes, coughing are obvious symptoms of environmental allergies, but prolonged exposure can result in harm to the lungs and other internal organs. While reducing our emissions and carbon footprint can help reduce air quality, we can monitor humidity levels in our home to improve our indoor air quality.

August 15, 2018
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