Medical Aspects To Survive Cold Climate



Summary: Extreme cold climate brings with certain health hazards which one needs to be aware of and take precautions accordingly.

If you are fond of cold weather and take a skiing vacation or a mountain trek every year, you need to be aware of the pros and cons that cold weather usually brings with it. This would help you take the necessary precautions in order not to be adversely affected by cold climates and to make your stay in the cold as enjoyable as possible.

Precautions to be Taken in Cold Weather

The most dangerous facet of cold weather is frostbite which results from exposure of the human body to extreme cold for prolonged periods. This is a deadly condition where the sufferer’s skin freezes and the area becomes necrozed or dead and this may result in the loss of fingers, toes and even limbs. In order to keep frostbite at pay, make sure to keep your skin covered at all times by way of woolens, blankets or special anti-cold garments. Frostbite also occurs from prolonged periods of inactivity and constant mobility is required to keep the circulation of blood smooth. The symptoms of frostbite are a whitish pallor, hardness and numbness of skin and have to be treated immediately by tepid water washes followed by gentle drying.

Hypothermia is yet another deadly condition induced by the cold and results in a sudden and abnormal drop in body temperature. This usually manifests itself through bouts of shivering, slurred speech, shallow breathing and steady loss of physical ability. To avoid this, you have to keep the patient’s body, especially his head, well protected to arrest heat loss. Ensure that the patient stays mobile and does not oversleep. Nothing hot is to be directly applied to the skin, while direct immersion in hot water is also strictly unadvisable. Also make sure to avoid rubbing the skin and get medical help at the earliest. Contrary to popular belief, dehydration is yet another little known but dangerous condition, which happens in cold conditions. This happens due to the body’s loss of vital fluids due to excessive sweating because of multiple clothing. Drinking plenty of water and other fluids is advised to prevent the condition from happening.

Snow blindness also occurs in extreme cold due to sunburns in the cornea and is characterized by headaches, eye pain, reddishness and itching. Use of skiing goggles or sunglasses is advised and carrying a first aid box is also strongly advised. These may contain sunburn lotion, Vaseline, basic drugs and antiseptics to tackle emergencies.