FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As Central California continues to experience triple-digit temperatures, medical experts warn people of the long-term effects of being in excessive or prolonged heat.
People with pre-existing mental health issues can have worsening conditions during this time, as well.
"There is a good study from 2022 that there is eight percent more E-R visits for mental health concerns on the hottest days of the summer than on the coolest days," family physician Dr. Beth Oller said. "And that visits for self-harm, substance abuse, anxiety, especially persons with schizophrenia or some other underlying condition."
If you're feeling irritable or your attention span is not what it normally is, the heat may be affecting you more than you think.
Medical experts say understanding a change in your mood can really help avoid getting to a point of anger.
"It's been associated with increased rates and risk for violence. Violence in individuals, violence in groups. And some studies have shown an increase rate of suicide," Chair of the American Psychiatrict Association Dr. Joshua Morganstein said.
Morganstein says being in the heat can affect you past a moment of feeling overwhelmed by extreme weather.
"When people are hot during the day, if you have, for instance, lower socioeconomic status, you aren't able to afford air conditioning or find your way to a place where you might be able to cool down, or your hot day turns into a hot night, this can certainly affect people's ability to sleep," Morganstein said.
Sleep can affect your ability to make sound decisions and Dr. Morganstein says lack of sleep can lead to a series of different kinds of accidents