Every day I have to commute and work outdoors for 7-8 hours. When the temperature is too high, I usually go to the mall to avoid the heat.
But when I enter the mall, I often feel dizzy and have a headache. I get better when I sit down for a while, however. Does going into an air-conditioned room immediately after being in the sun cause fatigue, or even a stroke? (Son, 45, Hanoi).
The temperature difference resulting from entering an air-conditioned room right after being outside or vice versa, causes the body to be unable to adapt in time, which leads to sudden vasoconstriction and dizziness. Many can suffer from heat stroke or even a fatal stroke, especially for high-risk groups such as the elderly, young children or outdoor workers. The body needs a transition period to cool down and gradually adapt to the temperature.
During the dog days of summer, patients with lung diseases, respiratory diseases, or immunocompromised people also need to be cautious when using the air conditioner.
People working outdoors often sweat a lot, so they need to wipe themselves down before entering an air-conditioned room to avoid dehydration, hypothermia, or colds. Not to mention, at the malls, the wind coming from air conditioners is very strong, so you should avoid going in and out too many times.
To avoid heat stroke, you need to control the room temperature and absolutely avoid turning it below 26-28 degrees Celsius.
When the room is cool enough, raise the temperature to at least 27-28 degrees Celsius. If you want to exit the air-conditioned room, you should open the door, stay inside for a few minutes to get used to the temperature change, and then go out.
In addition, air-conditioned rooms are often closed and not ventilated, so it is easy to accumulate dust, which creates favorable conditions for bacteria, viruses and mold to cause respiratory diseases such as coughing, sore throat, pneumonia and bronchitis.
When the air conditioner is not turned on, you should open the door to let clean outdoor air into the house.
You can use coolers, steam fans, or ceiling fans as alternatives to protect you and your family’s health.
Dr. Tran Dinh Thang
The Stroke Emergency Department, National Geriatric Hospital in Hanoi