Experts advise ways to beat the heat

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - When temperatures reach triple digits, it can create dangerous, even life-threatening conditions for people.

This summer, some doctors say, they're seeing an increased number of patients coming in their office doors with heat-related problems.

At the Doctors Care office in North Myrtle Beach, Doctor Dennis Rhoades says they see between 70 and 80 patients a day. He says usually about 30 to 40 percent of those come in with heat-related problems, and that's certainly up from last summer.

"We do seem to be seeing a lot more heat related issues this summer than last," explained Doctor Rhoades.

He also says he sees patients come in who are already sick - but the problems are that much worse because they're also dehydrated.

"People are dehydrating, coming in with bladder infections, upper respiratory infections, which of course are worse because they are dehydrated," said Rhoades. "But we're also seeing, just plain dehydration, where they're not drinking enough, they're not cooling off enough."

Doctor Rhoades also adds these illnesses are unfortunate because dehydration is preventable by drinking lots of water and staying cool.

However, if anyone can enjoy the heat, it's certainly the businesses that work on air conditioning, because the hotter the temperatures out here, the busier they area repairing all those problems for people indoors.

Shaun Leary of Air Mechanical says right now, they're averaging about 40 to 50 calls a day for air conditioning repairs.

Leary says that if people want to extend the life of their air conditioner, they should change out their filters often, and leave the thermostat on a certain temperature. He also says to have realistic expectations about what the air conditioner can do.

"It's not going to cool like it did in May, obviously, if you can get 20 degrees difference between the outside temperature and what your thermostat is telling you, the system is probably working as good as it will ever work," said Leary.

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