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!