Prolonged exposure to heat or steam can trigger a range of symptoms. You can try lowering the water temperature, sitting down, and taking these other steps if you get dizzy during or after a hot shower.

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Hot showers, saunas, hot tubs, and even a hot bath can be relaxing. But if you find yourself becoming dizzy from hot water and steam, you’ll want to take some precautions.

Heat can affect us in many ways. A little bit of mild heat can be beneficial, but too much high heat can be dangerous — especially if you have certain underlying medical conditions.

This article will explore who is most likely to experience dizziness in a hot shower, what causes it, and what you can do to manage it.

Warm water baths or sitting in a mild sauna can have health benefits for your heart and circulatory system. The heat dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely and easily throughout your body.

But people with underlying heart, neurological, or circulation problems can develop worrying symptoms like dizziness if the water gets too hot.

Prolonged exposure to water and steam — whether it’s in a bath, shower, sauna, or hot tub — that’s too hot can change the way your body works, overriding any benefits from warm water therapy.

One study found that hot water increased heart rates by 32%, and the amount of blood your heart pumps with each beat by 44%.

These numbers might sound good, but if you have a condition where your body is not able to tolerate large shifts in heart rate or blood pressure, you may experience dizziness or even loss of consciousness.

Heat can also affect your nervous system, causing shifts in which part of your nervous system controls different functions. This shifting can lead to miscommunication somewhere in your vast nervous system, and dysfunctions in your nervous system can further complicate the process.

People with autonomic dysfunction in particular need to be aware of the temperatures around them.

Since the autonomic nervous system helps to regulate body temperature, a dysfunction autonomic nervous system could quickly lead to dangerous changes in body temperature.

If you have a heart or circulation issue or another condition like dysautonomia, you could become dizzy due to the dilation of your blood vessels that causes low blood pressure alongside an increased heart rate.

This dizziness could progress to a syncopal event or fainting, if you don’t move to a cooler place. There are a lot of dangers associated with falls, especially in the shower. Soap, water, and faucets all add extra hazards.

If you’re prone to dizziness during hot showers, having a grab bar or seat installed can help you find stability before passing out.

If you know you get dizzy during a hot shower, you can take some steps to prevent dizziness.

If you have dysautonomia, managing your condition with things like increased fluid and salt intake can help. Don’t enter a hot shower dehydrated or tired, as this could just increase your risk more.

If you have a known cardiovascular problem, be sure to follow the treatment plan developed with your healthcare professional. Discuss any activities to avoid, including hot showers, saunas, hot tubs, and more.

You can try these steps if you get dizzy from a shower

Taking steps to control your environment and minimize risks during a fall is key for people who become dizzy during hot showers. Below are some steps you can take to try and make your hot — or warm — showers as safe as possible.

  • Drink a glass of water before you shower.
  • Set a temperature limit on your water heater to avoid being tempted by water that is too hot.
  • Install a grab bar in the shower to steady yourself.
  • Add a shower chair inside your shower or right next to it to give you a quick place to find relief if you get dizzy.
  • Use a nonslip mat in your shower to try and prevent falls if you get dizzy and lose your balance.
  • Consider adding bumpers or cushions around your faucets and other devices in the shower if you have a history of fainting after getting dizzy.
  • Keep a medical alert device nearby and within reach in case you get too dizzy or faint in the shower and need help.
  • Open a window in your bathrooms during your shower, if you have one.
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Dizziness or lightheadedness is a side effect of many medications. Diuretics, antihistamines, sedatives, or medications that lower your heart rate and blood pressure can all have this effect — but there are others, too.

If you find you’re becoming dizzy in the shower after starting a new medication, talk with the healthcare professional who prescribed the medication. Don’t stop taking any prescription medications without first talking with your doctor, and discussing the side effects and any changes you notice in your overall health after starting a new medication is important.

Dizziness in the shower can happen to anyone as the warm steam widens your blood vessels and lowers your blood pressure.

For most people, a hot shower might just be calming and help reduce high blood pressure. But for people with heart conditions or autonomic nervous system dysfunction, the reaction can be more extreme.

Dizziness can lead to fainting — especially where soap, water, and slippery surfaces are involved. If you notice you’re getting dizzy in the shower, try lowering the temperature, sitting down, and taking other steps to keep yourself safe.