Is the winter storm affecting your health? - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Is the winter storm affecting your health?

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How much is this winter storm affecting your health?

Emergency Room Physician Doctor Knopp with Raleigh General Hospital told us they're seeing a heavy amount of hypothermia, frostbite and pneumonia cases when the temperatures drop below freezing.

59News reporter Jessie Gavin spoke with him on how to best prevent these weather related conditions.

If you are spending a significant amount of time outdoors in the severe weather, Dr. Knopp gives us a heads up on how to spot hypothermia.

"If you're walking unsteady or if you can't keep your balance or if your speech is off, that can be the early effects, stumbling and lack of balance, as well as rapid heart rate and difficulty of breathing and a rapid perspiration," said Dr. Knopp.

After bearing the winter storms, Dr. Knopp actually said immediately coming indoors and heading to the closest heat source might not be your best bet.

"We do see burns from heating blankets and pads against bare skin. This will happen with the elderly, sometimes their pain receptors are not as sensitive as a younger person and therefore they won't realize the damage the heat is doing to their skin until it's too late," he told us.

Dr. Knopp advises to wear as many layers as possible when you are outside but he told us it's just as important to take them all off when you do go indoors.

"Make sure that you don't have anything that can constrict blood flow to the extremities. If you over layer, you start to sweat and now you're perspiring which increases the bodies rapid cooling and that can be a detriment as well," Knopp said.

Doctor Knopp said alcohol consumption increases the loss of body heat and should be avoided when spending time outdoors.