Debunking the Myths of Vegas: Exploring the Safety of Dry Heat Vs. Humid Heat


Posted on: August 28, 2023, 08:04h. 

Last updated on: August 25, 2023, 08:40h.

But it’s a scorching 115 degrees ….

Due to the evaporative effect of dry heat on sweat, many people believe that Las Vegas’ dry heat is safer than the humidity commonly found in Florida. However, this is a misconception that needs debunking.

Sunbather
A Las Vegas tourist enjoys the sun on the Planet Hollywood pool deck. Last year, according to Tripadvisor, Las Vegas was the No. 1 US travel destination for Labor Day Weekend. And, according to AAA, Labor Day travel will be up 4% this year over last. (Image: destination360.com)

According to Dr. Daliah Wachs, a Las Vegas doctor of family medicine and radio show host, both dry and humid heat pose equal dangers. While humidity can lead to heat stroke due to reduced evaporation, dry heat can give the false impression of being cooler than it actually is, resulting in delayed reactions to seek cooler environments.

Additionally, Wachs explains that sweat evaporates more quickly in dry heat, increasing the risk of dehydration compared to humid heat.

This risk is particularly heightened for those indulging in alcohol, a common activity among Las Vegas poolside tourists.

Alcohol further dehydrates you and inhibits your ability to sense that you are in trouble,” Wachs said.

When the temperature is hotter outside your body than inside, your body works hard to reduce internal temperature. It produces more sweat and dilates blood vessels near the skin to regulate temperature.

However, failure to replace the lost sweat through proper hydration can lead to the onset of heat-related illnesses.

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(Image: news3lv.com)

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can result in symptoms such as cramps, nausea, pale and clammy appearance, increased heart rate, dizziness, weakness, and fainting. Dr. Wachs advises immediately seeking indoor shelter, lying down, elevating feet, and hydrating.

Applying cool and wet cloths to the underarms and body can also provide relief, but persistent or worsening symptoms necessitate contacting medical professionals.

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(Image: esa.itn)

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke occurs when the body overheats beyond its upper temperature limit of 106 degrees Fahrenheit. This condition can lead to denatured proteins, organ swelling, nerve impairment, and an increased risk of heart attack.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency and can be fatal,” warns Dr. Wachs.

Signs of heat stroke include difficulty breathing, seizures, fever, and loss of consciousness. Losing consciousness prevents fluid intake, which is critical for recovery.

“If you have heat stroke, 9-1-1 must be called immediately,” advises Dr. Wachs.

Heat stroke can occur within minutes, depending on the temperature and level of dehydration upon exposure.

Heat-related incidents surpass deaths caused by hurricanes in the US. In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attributed 1,714 deaths to heat-related causes, representing a 740% increase from 2004.

Heat-related hospitalizations in Nevada, Arizona, and California have exceeded the average level since 2018, as of the week ending July 22.

Stay tuned for “Vegas Myths Busted” every Monday on Casino.org. To read previously busted Vegas myths, visit VegasMythsBusted.com. Have a Vegas myth to bust? Email [email protected].

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