Community Feedback: Managing Rain and Humidity.

Managing Rain and Humidity

It’s no secret that the weather can affect your COPD, with rain and humidity topping the list of potential exacerbation triggers. Summer is upon us, and rising temperatures can lead to greater levels of fatigue, as well as further breathing difficulties. In addition to the heat, high humidity levels and summer rain can also contribute to COPD flare-ups.

So many of our members reported that summer, with the accompanying humidity and warm rain, was by far the most trying for them. So we asked you in the community how you manage rain, heat and humidity. You provided us incredible responses! Some even shared personal stories on what they do to manage their COPD during these humid months. We’ve highlighted just some of the many amazing responses!

Key tools to have: AC and dehumidifiers

Air conditioners and at home dehumidifiers can help make breathing easier. Many of our members even mentioned that these two items specifically are the most crucial when it comes to controlling air temperature and humidity levels.

  • “On those really hot humid days, I use my AC plus I have a dehumidifier… and I hibernate till it’s over.”
  • “I use my AC and my inhaler at all times!”
  • “I have a dehumidifier and AC and spend a lot of time online, I avoid perfume and germs and outside activities.”
  • “I have AC in my bedroom so on those really hot humid days that is where I am, in my bedroom.”
  • “I got a dehumidifier and it makes a big difference, and I get anywhere between 2 to 5 gallons of water removed per day!”

All sides of the spectrum: Mastering the moisture to utter defeat

We received so many great responses, from creative cooling methods – like hanging out at a baby pool – to utter frustration with environment or weather-related exacerbation triggers. Whether you have mastered changing or wet weather patterns, or are still struggling to manage them, it’s clear you’re not alone when it comes to this trigger!

  • “I like to sit & relax in a baby pool or sit in the shade with my feet in a bucket of cool water. Also, I found a cooling towel very helpful.”
  • “The weather definitely affects me and I know others have said the same. Heat and humidity is so hard. The humidity can make me feel like I’m drowning.”
  • “I’ve discovered when the humidity goes up, my COPD acts up, tightness of chest, huffing for air, hard to exercise.”
  • “Any kind of weather change can really make things bad for me. Too much humidity, or rain, or fog, or cold, or high heat, can make my symptoms so much worse.”

Humidity beyond the weather

Also, many of our community members expressed concern about their difficulties with humidity levels not just attributed to the weather. As an example, showering can cause hot and humid conditions indoors, which can act as a trigger as well. Several members shared how they keep their risk of experiencing an exacerbation down while taking a shower.

  • “I use a chair in the shower and try to keep the water temperature at a warm to cool setting.”
  • “It feels like I’m suffocating in the shower, I try to keep the bathroom well ventilated.”
  • “A long handled brush or sponge is helpful and makes it easier to wash your back and feet and helps expend less energy bending and stretching.”

Whether you’ve mastered managing moisture and heat in the air, or are still learning to navigate this trigger, you are not alone. Hopefully, some of our community members’ stories will inspire you to try a few new tricks to help you stay cool, dry and comfortable during these hot, humid, and rainy months!

Let us know how you handle the humidity and rain during the summer time, and if there are any tips or experiences we’ve missed!

Comments

View Comments (17)
  • kazooblue65
    7 months ago

    I have found that the high heat and the humidity takes its toll on me. I can only go out for a little while and in the mornings I have to use my rescue inhaler first thing. I try to avoid the heat and humidity as much as possible. The extreme cold does the same to me in the winter.

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi Kazooblue65,
    It is true that any temperature range can be a problem for us.
    Perfection is about 70 degrees with humidity at about 40% and just a slight breeze. On the other days we learn to cope as best we can using the tools we have and pacing through.
    Happy Autumn because we should have a few days of perfection ahead of us.
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    7 months ago

    Hi kazooblue65 and thanks for your post. It sounds like you have a good understanding of how the weather affects your COPD condition. With that understanding you probably keep your symptoms more under control. Keep up the good work! We appreciate your comment.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Gmafli
    1 year ago

    When the rain and humidity hit during summer heat, I stay in the house with the AC on. I call those days, “down days”! I always have easy meals on hand, and projects to do while sitting. If it becomes to bad I will turn the oxygen tank on.

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi Gmafli,
    It sounds like you know what you are doing and are well prepared for the goods days and the bad days. I am happy to hear that you are not afraid to use your 02 as prescribed.
    Barbara Moore (site moderator)

  • Jenn Patel
    1 year ago

    Thanks for sharing your go-to methods on the “down days”, Gmafli! We appreciate it so much as it’s helpful for people to hear about what other community members do. Thanks for being here!!! – Jenn (COPD.net Team)

  • bcclarke
    1 year ago

    His article came at just the right moment it’s been rainy and humid here the past few days and I’m just off a course of prednisone. I’ve been focused on the prednisone it’s been 5 days and I been fearing and exacerbation coming on. I now realize that it made in fact be the humidity and the rain that’s causing my shortness of breath and general discomfort. I turned on the air conditioner and shut the windows I’m feeling much better now thank you. You guys saved me tonight

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi bcclarke,
    It is funny how things show up when we need them the most. You are the smart one for recognizing it and taking the steps necessary to get well.
    Sometimes you just have to pull the curtains and have a rest.
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

  • davidpatrick344
    1 year ago

    living in florida its 100 heat index all summer with air being wet 80%to !00% humid dr tould me to stay in the house so i use air cond all day if any thing i have to put water in my noise to keep from bleeding

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi davidpatrick344
    It sounds like it must be tough to live in the such hot and humid conditions on a regular basis.
    I love your idea of A/C and water up your nose. Mine gets very dry from using supplemental 02.
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

  • Jenn Patel
    1 year ago

    Hi bcclarke – thanks so much for letting us know that this article helped you! We are so happy to hear that. And, we appreciate your being here as part of the community! Best, Jenn (COPD.net Team)

  • Janet Plank
    1 year ago

    Rain can affect a persons breathing and overall feeling. I like heat, preferably dry. Humidity makes me feel like I’m drowning. It’s something how we can react to the same thing differently, such as heat and humity for you and dry for me. I agree with the cold. During that time, cover your face and nose so that you don’t breathe in that cold air.
    I hope you find someone with more similarities.

    Janet (site moderator)

  • Rick W
    1 year ago

    Rain bothers me but, heat and humidity is when I feel my best. What is really hard on me is the cold weather. Cold just takes my breath away. Anyone else have this problem or is it just me. I have yet to see a post concerning this matter.

  • chrisptx
    4 months ago

    When it’s cold is when I seem to breathe best. It’s the hot and humid that really bothers me.

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    4 months ago

    Hi chrisptx and thanks for your post in response to this article from our editorial team. Some folks do well in the heat and humidity, while others do not. Some folks (like you) do well in the cold air, while for others, that can be a trigger too. Wishing you the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • davidpatrick344
    1 year ago

    cold is dry and your oxygen can dry you out so just get some steam a little goes a long way my bipap is set on 5 for the heated water so i just put it on

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Rick W and thanks for your post. There certainly are others in our community who have similar experiences with the cold weather, so you are definitely NOT alone! In view of your concerns regarding the cold, I thought you might find it helpful to look over this article on that very subject: https://copd.net/answers/expert-answers-dealing-with-winter/. We have quite a few articles about changing seasons and winter weather – should you want directions to more of them, just let me or any other moderator/team member know. All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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