Warm Weather Impact on COPD Patients

Temperature fluctuations can significantly impact COPD symptoms and cause flare-ups year-round. In a perfect environment, it would be 72 degrees with mild humidity everyday.

But we can't custom order the perfect temperature and weather conditions from Mother Nature. However, with the advancements in Artificial Intelligence that may be around the corner, who knows?

Improving indoor air quality in the heat

Indoor air may seem easier to regulate than outside air. When it comes to the air we breathe inside, we have a tendency to be reactive. 

In the warmer months, we open the windows or crank up the air conditioner in hopes of relief. This war against the warmth can be a trigger to lung spasms, also known as bronchospasms. You may feel an abrupt narrowing of the airways and increased lung inflammation, making it harder to inhale and exhale.

Some common ways to ease the impact of the summer heat indoors can be:

Use a dehumidifier that will help draw out the excess moisture in your home. You can install one in your main living area or have a unit that takes care of the entire home. Simple units for an average living space can cost as little as $ 100 to $200.

Use of a temperature and humidity thermometer in your home. These can be stand-alone tools or appear on the dehumidifier unit itself.

Regularly change the filters in your central air system and your window AC unit filters. This can help with minimizing dust and other indoor pollutants.

If you are going to be exposed to the heat outside, it is advisable to avoid the strong heat that occurs between the hours of eleven in the morning and two in the afternoon.

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Managing indoor and outdoor air quality for summer breathing

Some common ways to ease the impact of the summer heat outdoors can be:

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Wear loose-fitting cool clothing and a sun hat if needed.
  • By keeping the rest of your body comfortable and cool, you can decrease outdoor heat's impact on your lungs and your ability to breathe. 
  • Take frequent breaks to rest and, if possible, take time to get in the shade.
  • When you get inside after being outdoors for a long time, make sure to wash your hands and your face before you go to sleep and take a damp washcloth to rid your hair of allergens that will end up on your pillow and impact your sleep quality.
  • Saline rinses help to flush the dust and allergens from your nose and minimize nasal passage swelling if you are prone to seasonal sniffles. You can pick up a simple saline rinse over the counter, which is a relatively inexpensive way to provide relief to your nose year-round.

If your breathing and COPD symptoms are further affected by seasonal allergies, please consult your doctor for ways that other medicines may assist you.

You can create a routine that allows you to make the most out of the summer season ahead.

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