CEREDO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Lorene Goodwin was at the doctor's office Wednesday afternoon. She has high blood pressure and was in for just a checkup, but the heat was still taking its toll.
"I can only go outside for a bit in the morning," Goodwin says. "If I go out later in the day, I just can't breathe."
Almost half the country is under a heat advisory as the heat index hovers around the 100-degree mark.
Some medications make people more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. They include certain blood pressure medications, especially diuretics (water pills).
Certain psychiatric medications also block the body's message to the brain regarding the elevated temperature. Stimulants and decongestants actually reduce blood flow to the skin.
The Cabell-Huntington Health Department has issued these tips:
Symptoms of heat exhaustion are:
Goodwin has listened to her doctor's advice. She knows the medications she's taking and the heat just don't mix.
"They told me not to be out in the hot sun cause it would cause you to pass out or something in it because of that medicine," Goodwin says, "so, I try to listen."