Heat Exhaustion: Does It Really Get Worse As We Get Older?

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D. // Aging, Health


July 2  

heat exhaustion

Good grief!         I hope not!

I’ve had problems with hot weather and humidity since I was born. 


I was the kid on the beach with a hat, long sleeved shirt, and long pants with zinc on my nose. 

As a teen, I kind of went out there without parents around, and got too much sun and got burned many times – but you know you do that when you’re a teenager… and then you hope as an adult that you didn’t do “too” much that you now have problems… 

So far, I’m okay. 

But heat, especially when it is over 80 degrees F, starts me on a path to heat exhaustion. This is worse for me when I can not acclimatize. 

I lived in Washington, D.C. for a long time, but there the temperature increases from May thru summer. I had issues some summers, but generally I survived all my D.C. summers. 

Where I am now, in Oregon, we don’t get a chance to acclimatize. It goes from pleasant in the 70’s to near 100 in one day! 

One day is about all I can take, so when it is brutally hot for 2 or more days, I have heat exhaustion issues. 

I get nauseous, irritable, headachy, and dizzy. These symptoms and I are on such familiar terms, we recognize each other. 

Have they worsened as I aged? I’m not sure, as I also changed the coast I was on, and reduced the humidity factor. I do note that the symptoms come on after a day of excessive hot, but they go away when it cools off.


I do pay attention to the weather and try to plan ahead – and one of these years, I will get an air conditioner….maybe when I am “old.”

How does the heat affect you?

Thoughts? Thank you…. 

  • I’m completly opposite – I love laying in the sun and feel that heat. But when the temperature is too high I always trying to drink cold water, taking bath often and eat fruits and vegtables high in potassium (tomatoes, oranges, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots). This is what works for me.

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    About the Author

    Native of NYC who moved a lot, got several degrees, and has been a lifelong writer and reader... I am interested in many things - and I write [and teach] about them - especially the human lifespan and healthy aging

    Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.