Humidity and COPD 

Humidity and COPD 

The high humidity in our home state make life hard for people who have symptoms of lung problem. My mom never thought of moving away, but I know that the summer months were almost unbearable at times. We all tried to help her cope by taking certain steps. Because we just grew up with heavy air, we had to learn about humidity and COPD.

What is Humidity?

The air around us contains a certain amount of moisture. For example, when it is pouring down rain, it means there is 100% humidity, and water is falling from the sky. That also reduces the oxygen in the air, making it hard to get a deep breath. Some areas have a higher humidity because they are close to water. If you live near a lake, or the ocean, you know that already. Our part of the United States has a lot of lakes, trees, and high temperatures. Those three combined creates a higher humidity, depending on the season.

Many regions have desert like conditions with low humidity. People who live there may be more active, or even take less medication because of the drier air. You can look at the dew point, or the relative humidity to gauge moisture, but either way, heavy air means trouble for those with lung health issues.

Seasons and Humidity

Winter usually brings cold weather and a lower humidity. In the spring, the air starts to heat up. By the time summer rolls around, as the temperature gets hotter, the humidity rises. That’s because warmer air holds more moisture, making the humidity high, and the oxygen low.

Helpful Hints for Humid Days

Check the Weather
Less than 40% is the general rule of thumb and the best for those who combat difficulty with breathing. If you have plans to go outside, try to do them at the time of day when the air is least filled with moisture. Most weather channels or apps can give you that number quickly.

Stay Inside
Mom learned to stay indoors, especially during the hours when the dew point was heavy in the hot summer days. She knew that getting out in the heat of the day was not good news. That’s true even for those of us who don’t have COPD.  She planned her activities according to the weather and humidity. That might mean she made doctor appointments and ran errands before noon. Then she was settled inside in her chair in a shady room when the suns rays were the hottest. The muggy air from high humidity makes everyone want to come inside, lay down, and take a nap.

Be Prepared
She made sure that her shoulder bag with her meds were filled and organized before she headed out. Oxygen refills were ready too. I recently saw a video of her at an outdoor picnic in August. She was parked in a chair under a shade tree visiting with friends.

By watching the weather and moisture in the air, mom was able to plan a pretty active life. She knew to stay inside during the heat of the day when oxygen was not as available. No matter what, the organized medicines and spare oxygen gave her the freedom to design a life around high humidity and COPD.

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

Comments

View Comments (7)
  • Darla S
    6 months ago

    Thank you so much to all of you for all the helpful info. Michigan has had a lot of high humidity this year and I found that the info and suggestions really made a big difference.

  • Karen Hoyt author
    6 months ago

    I’m glad it helped Darla. We lived near Michigan for a while and I remember how heavy the air would get. This year there has been a lot more rain too. Have you been having a lot of rain?

  • Karen Hoyt author
    6 months ago

    Thanks for sharing Gale1852. It’s so good to connect with you. We found that a dehumidifier worked well too. Finding that balance is really tough.
    So, I’ve been researching too. Thanks Leon for looking into it. That link is helpful.
    I hope that anyone who has experience with the trilogy will speak up.
    I hope you’ll please let us know when YOU hear anything after your latest test results. The value in connecting with other people can’t even be measured.

    xo Karen

  • Gale1852
    6 months ago

    For me these past few weeks have been brutal! I have a dehumidifier that has been running at 35% since beginning of June. I got a sore throat because humidity was so low, had to increase percentage. That has never happened before so I’m keeping at 45%. Still on days dew points at 73%-75% make it hard to do anything. Absolutely no way to live for sure. My Dr has ordered pulmonary tests to see where I’m at and possibly order the Trilogy. I’m wondering if anyone has this machine or tried it. Thank you all!

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi Gale1852 and thanks for your post. We hear you! This weather can be challenging for patients with COPD, there is no question about that. I’m hopeful our members who have experience with the Trilogy will chime in and share what they have to say with you. I did a brief search here on our COPD.net website and found this one comment from a year ago that relates to your inquiry: https://copd.net/stories/trilogy/. This may be a start. You may want visit our COPD Facebook page – you may get more of a reply there. Wishing you the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Hi again, Gale 1852 and thanks for your most recent post (below). Glad to hear you’re going to check us out on our COPD Facebook page. We’ll look forward to seeing you there as well! We’ll also look forward to you checking back following your pulmonary testing results. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • Gale1852
    6 months ago

    Thank you for the info about FB, I did not know you all were on there. I will log on see what answers I might get. Also I will share pulmonary test results when I know. Thanks for sharing with me!

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