It's hot. Like really hot. But here's something you may not have known: Heat waves are the deadliest form of extreme weather, responsible for more deaths in the U.S. every year than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods COMBINED.
Here are five ways the heat is terrible for your health . . .
1. It can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If you're outside in the heat for too long, it can lead to heavy sweating, clammy skin, dehydration, tiredness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, cramps, and a quick, weak pulse.
And in really bad cases, in can lead to heat stroke. Once your body temperature rises to 103 degrees or higher, it can be a fatal medical emergency.
2. It makes us dumber. Several studies have shown that as it gets hotter, we perform worse on tests.
3. Heat causes air pollution and air quality to get worse. On hot days, heat from the sun causes pollutants to react with atmospheric gases to form ozone. And the hotter it is, the more ozone pollution is produced. So that's why you see more poor air quality alerts in the summer.
But that poor air makes it harder to breathe and increases the rates of lung cancer, allergies and asthma, cardiovascular disease, and emphysema.
4. It can make us depressed. Some researchers recently analyzed more than 600 million tweets, and found that people were more likely to express depressive feelings as temperatures rose.
5. It can cause suicide rates to spike. A study published this month found that a rise in average monthly temperature was associated with an increase in the monthly suicide rate.
And by 2050, the researchers say increasing temperatures could lead to 14,000 to 26,000 additional suicides just in the U.S.