SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — It’s been a scorching-hot week in the Savannah area this week, with highs topping 90 degrees and the heat index surpassing 100.

While a daily dose of sun may feel good for the soul, SouthCoast Health cardiologist Dr. Roy Flood says spending too much time in the heat can be bad for your heart.

“The temperature is real and the risk is real,” Flood said. “Primarily, it’s related to dehydration, loss of electrolytes, loss of fluid which can lead to increases in heart rate, drops in blood pressure, alter level of consciousness, you may hear people losing consciousness, fainting.”

Flood said the youngest and oldest people are at higher risk of experiencing complications from the heat, as well as those with underlying conditions. But Flood said anyone can be affected and the damage is widespread throughout the body.

“If the heat exposure is extreme, there’s a large rise in our core temperature which can then lead to organ damage including not only the heart but the liver, kidneys, the central nervous system, brain,” Flood said. “So it’s a big deal and is not to be taken lightly.”

More than 600 people die each year from heat-related illnesses, according to the CDC. To help protect yourself, Flood recommends drinking more water than you normally wood, wearing light, breathable clothes and limiting your time outside altogether.

“Let’s see if we can get that run in early in the morning or later in the evening or if you live in a well-lit area, maybe even at night just because the temperature is so much better,” Flood said.

According to the CDC, symptoms of heat exhaustion include muscle cramps, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fainting. If you have these symptoms, the CDC says you should immediately move to a cool place and get medical attention if they last for more than an hour.