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This or That: Dealing With the Heat

Last updated: September 2023

COPD triggers are different for everyone, but a common trigger is hot weather! We want to hear from our community members about how the heat affects your COPD! Let’s play This or That!

High temperatures can constrict airways and make breathing harder, exacerbating COPD. Heat can strain the respiratory system and can dehydrate someone with COPD. People with COPD must stay hydrated, avoid heat, and take precautions in hot weather.1,2

This or That

Is the heat affecting your COPD?

Heat and humidity can be hard on people with COPD. When there is a lot of humidity, the air can feel thick, and it can be hard to breathe. This can make it hard for people with COPD to breathe and cough.1,2

This or That

Which is worse:

COPD requires those living with the condition to consider whether they should stay or leave their homes. People with COPD who travel by plane may have to deal with bad air quality, limited medical care, and the physical challenges of being in a new place. But being in the comfort of your own home gives you more control and can make you feel more comfortable, making it easier to deal with COPD.1,2

This or That

Are you:

COPD makes breathing difficult. Early morning and late evening outdoor duties are often easier for people with COPD. It's usually cooler, and the air quality is better during these hours, which may reduce COPD symptoms. Avoid the hottest parts of the day to avoid overheating and overworking. Planning outside activities for cooler seasons can help with COPD control and breathing.1,2

This or That

Are you completing outdoor activities/chores

Heat and COPD require a balance between intense activity and routine. Avoiding COPD-triggering activities is important, but stopping may impair your fitness and well-being. Pay attention to your body and adjust your schedule for comfort and good health.1,2

This or That

Are you:

The hottest part of the day can affect the breathing of people with COPD. High temperatures and air pollution can cause airway constriction and shortness of breath. Those with COPD should avoid outdoor activities during peak heat hours to avoid overexertion and discomfort. Keep cool, well-ventilated, and hydrated to reduce stress on breathing.1,2

This or That

Is there a greater impact on your breathing during the hottest part of the of the day?

High temperatures and humidity irritate and restrict airways, making breathing harder. High humidity can increase mucus production, which can obstruct the lungs. Keeping cool, drinking water, and avoiding doing too much in extreme temperatures can help.1,2

This or That

When its hot out, do you tend to have more trouble with:

It's hard for people with COPD to breathe when it's hot and humid. High humidity makes the air feel thicker, which makes it harder to breathe and can tighten the airways.1,2


This or That

Do you find it more challenging to breathe during:

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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