The First Warning Signs of Hypothermia and Frostbite
The weather is going to be dangerously cold for the next few days and powerful winds are going to make it even worse. Even if you dress in layers and do you best to protect yourself, how do you know if you've done enough?
Hypothermia comes on very slowly, so slowly most people have no idea it's happening until it's too late. According to MedBroadcast, the first warning sign is when your shivers actually stop. We shiver when we're cold, we stop shivering when our bodies are getting too cold. It's just a way our bodies try to conserve energy.
Other warning signs to watch out for, according to MedBroadcast, are:
- Feeling clumsy or disoriented
- Feeling sleepy or drowsy
- Slurred speech
All these symptoms are very dangerous, but things get extremely dangerous if you have shallow breathing and if your heart beat slows down or becomes irregular.
Remember, you suffer from hypothermia if your body temperature drops below 95-degrees. Considering our average temperature is 98.6-degrees, it really doesn't take much for hypothermia to set in.
What About Frostbite?
Just like hypothermia, there are different levels of severity when it comes to frostbite. The most basic, known as "Frost Nip," is one that many people have already experienced in their life. You'll notice this frostbite when your skin looks very white or paler than usual, and looks almost "waxy." According to MedBroadcast,
Severe frostbite begins with white or waxy-looking skin, but the colour becomes grey or bluish as the damage progresses. The cold feeling disappears and is replaced with numbness, and blisters might form.
Both very scary situations and can lead to death. If you're experiencing any of these warning signs, get to a doctor or hospital. Whatever you do, don't wait or try to warm up by yourself, especially if you're in the later signs of hypothermia or frostbite. You could end up causing more damage than good.
Central New York (and much of the Eastern United States) are dealing with more than frigid temperatures and extremely dangerous wind chills. The Utica/Rome area is under a Wind Chill Warning until Sunday morning, with wind chill values between 10-below and 30-below. Temperatures and wind chills are expected to be even colder in the Adirondacks.
Please be careful if you do need to be out and about for the next few days. Make sure you dress in layers, wear gloves and hats, and watch out for the warning signs of hypothermia and frostbite.