According to research conducted recently, fans do more harm than good to the elderly. As temperatures rise to 108 degrees Fahrenheit or even higher, elderly citizens are advised not to use the electric fan.
The small scale study involved nine people over the age of sixty. It found that those who used electric fans had raised heart rates and body temperatures in very hot weather.
Study author Craig Crandall, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, notes that people should continue to use fans in moderate temperatures. They can be beneficial for their cooling properties.
However, under extreme conditions, like heat waves, fans can be bad for health.
In a strange turn of events, older persons sitting in front of a fan get hotter, when temperatures are very high.
In young adults, fans help eliminate sweat. When the body sweats, it evaporates and cools the skin.
The elderly cannot sweat as much as the young, so this means fans work against them.
Six women and three men took part in the experiment. The average age was 68. Men wore short pants and women wore a sports bra and short pants.
Participants were put in a room with temperatures close to 108 F degrees for 100 minutes. This kind of heat sometimes occurs in summer.
Researchers maintained different levels of humidity and heat, and on some occasions they introduced a working fan into the room.
What they found was that heart rates were much higher when the fan was used. Also, the body temperature was actually slightly higher during the times the fan was turned on.
Crandall also revealed that the increases were not necessarily bad. But for those with cardiovascular problems these increases in body temperature and heart beat were not good.
If someone sat in front of the fan for eight hours, their health could be affected.
Doctors recommend air conditioning as the optimum way to keep cool. It is advised that elderly people keep cool with air conditioning. If they don’t have it, they should consider going to a neighbor, a sibling, a community center or even a theater or a mall.
Besides air conditioning, doctors also recommend wet compresses and drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated.
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