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Does Heat And Humidity Affect Asthma

Humidity And The Asthmatic

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Alberta has a continental climate, which means that it s relatively dry with hot summers and extremely cold winters. While there are aspects of our climate that we love like the arid summers, it can pose a particular challenge to those of us with asthma.

Living in a dry climate zone has its perks. Many people prefer it to more humid climates for its ability to reduce joint pain and risks of heart disease. If you live in Alberta, you may not have realized the impact that the arid climate can have on overall health, especially those with asthma. You may be surprised at how much this unique climate can impact you or those you love with asthma.;

Alberta has a continental climate, which means that its relatively dry with hot summers and extremely cold winters. While there are aspects of our climate that we love like the arid summers, it can pose a particular challenge to those of us with asthma. This doesnt have to be a problem if you know how to work your way around the weather.

How To Protect Your Asthma From Humidity

First of all, every person with asthma, whether child or adult, should have a written asthma action plan that will guide you in maintaining your asthma control. As soon as you notice any symptoms starting or worsening, refer to your action plan. But beyond that, here are a couple of other suggestions.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. As Jacksonville-area hospital emergency rooms see an increase in the number of people suffering from heat-related illnesses, the unusually hot weather and humidity is also affecting people who have asthma.

A person suffers asthma when airways to the lungs become swollen, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma sufferers describe the feeling as being like trying to breathe with a rag in your mouth.;

The extreme heat and humidity;make the air feel even thicker for asthmatics.;

“It’s really difficult for you,” said Shavon;Stokes, a Jacksonville resident who was born with asthma. “You have a hard time keeping up. Things that are easy for some people become difficult for you.”

Stokes knows when an attack is coming on.

After a while, you get to a point where youre just trying to breathe,” Stokes said. “Youre just trying to get some air in your body.

Dr. Sunil Joshi, with Family Allergy and Asthma Consultants, treats asthma patients. He told News4Jax on Tuesday that he’s seeing an increase in high school athletes suffering from asthma and complaining about shortness of breath.;

Theyre exercising in the heat and humidity that theyre not used to doing, and so their asthma tends to flare up as a result of that,” Joshi said.;

Joshi warns asthma sufferers who choose to exercise in extremely humid conditions to be careful.;

Or if you have asthma, asthma exacerbation, its better to do that indoors if you can,” he said.

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Extreme Temperatures Increase Heart Risk

When asked about the greatest exertion-related risk to patients with heart disease, cardiologist Steve Pollock, MD, director of St. Joseph’s Heart Institute in Towson, Md., doesn’t make a single mention of extreme activities like bungee jumping or deep-sea diving. “The only restriction I place on patients with heart disease is this: no shoveling snow,” he tells WebMD.

Already, people who suffer from heart disease can have narrowed coronary arteries. Add to these factors the additional exertion required for shoveling snow, and the scenario can quickly turn into a dangerous, even deadly, heart attack.

Extreme heat presents a problem too, as having heart disease makes it harder to regulate the body’s core temperature. “People forget they have heart disease. All of a sudden, they’re sweating profusely and dehydrated,” Pollock says, noting factors that can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Old age also predisposes people to heat-related illnesses. “Once you get past 65, the thermoregulatory system has a harder time staying balanced,” says meteorologist Scott Sheridan, PhD, associate professor of climatology at Kent State University.

The Chicago heat wave of 1995 bore this out. Of the 465 heat-related deaths that occurred then, more than half of the victims were 75 or older.

“The idea that certain groups are more vulnerable than others to weather extremes shouldn’t preclude anyone from protecting themselves,” warns Sheridan.

Chilly Damp Weather Stiffens Joints

How does humidity affect asthma?

While it’s unusual for migraine sufferers to move for improved health, it’s not uncommon for people with joint pain to do so — particularly the elderly. “A lot of our patients migrate to warmer weather because they cannot tolerate the pain,” says Javad Parvizi, MD, PhD, a joint specialist at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In studying the relationship of weather to arthritic pain in weight-bearing joints, Parvizi says that his preliminary data show a significant correlation between joint pain and changes in weather.

“Baseline pain appears to be strongly affected by a drop in temperature and a change in humidity. Almost 80% to 90% of patients feel a difference in their pain’s intensity and sensitivity,” Parvizi tells WebMD.

Instead of simply reacting to weather-associated increases in joint pain with measures like placing heating pads over painful joints and doubling up on analgesics, Parvizi recommends that people use proactive measures to improve joint function, such as engaging in nonweight-bearing exercises. Other than that, he admits, “There’s not a lot that can be done.”

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How Can We Avoid Weather Triggers

Once you know what kind of weather triggers asthma symptoms, try these tips to protect your child:

  • Watch the forecast for pollen and mold counts plus other conditions that might affect your child’s asthma.
  • Limit your child’s outdoor activities on peak trigger days.
  • Make sure your child wears a scarf over the mouth and nose when outside in very cold weather.
  • Keep windows closed at night to keep pollen and molds out. If it’s hot, use air conditioning, which cleans, cools, and dries the air.
  • Keep your child indoors early in the morning when pollen is at its highest.
  • Your child shouldn’t mow the lawn or rake leaves, and should be kept away from freshly cut grass and leaf piles.
  • Dry clothes in the dryer .
  • Make sure your child always has quick-relief medicine on hand.

Your child’s written asthma action plan should list weather triggers and ways to manage them, including any seasonal changes in medicine.

Allergies: Is It Pollen Or The Weather

The image of someone sneezing uncontrollably during springtime, when lots of pollen is floating around in the air, is a familiar one. And for people who have allergies to pollen, an uptick in symptoms during the spring — including sneezing, stuffiness, and even difficulty breathing — is a very real problem that can pose serious risks. Several studies show a surge in emergency room visits for children and adults during seasons when pollen counts rise. For those folks allergic to pollen from flowers, trees, and grasses, antihistamines often quell the symptoms that would otherwise make spring a miserable season.

But plenty of people attribute their allergy-like symptoms to pollen when the weather — not allergens per se — may be to blame. Unlike allergic rhinitis, non-allergic rhinitis can be brought on by sudden changes in temperature and humidity. People with nonallergic rhinitis would test negative for any specific allergies.

The reason for the confusion between allergic and nonallergic rhinitis is simple. They both tend to occur at the same time of year and produce similar symptoms: swollen nasal passages, sneezing, and congestion.

Though the symptoms may be the same, the treatment is not.

“People with nonallergic rhinitis are not going to respond to antihistamines,” says Jonathan Bernstein, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Cincinnati. “People buy this stuff and don’t understand why it’s not working.”

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In Summary How Do I Handle Extreme Temperatures

The right balance in core body temperature of between 36 oC and 38 oC is essential for helping to balance the lung functionality. Once the temperature drops below or above these core temperatures, then it may result in coughing as the body tries to remove the irritants which are causing the airway walls to become dried out and agitated. Sadly, this is either the hot dry air, or the cold dry air which we are breathing, and it may result in consistent coughing.

The best way to handle this to breath through the nose and/or have a barrier like a clothing which can help hydrate and heat or cool the air before it enters the lungs.

How Humidity Affects Asthma

Breathe Easier

There are a few ways in which heat and humidity can affect breathing in people with asthma:3,4

  • Hot, humid air is harder to breathe in. Moist air feels heavier and denser. Hot outdoor temperatures seem to magnify this effect.
  • Humidity can activate sensory nerve fibers in the airways. These C-fibers are thought to;narrow the airways and stimulate coughing.
  • Hot, humid conditions provide the perfect breeding ground for asthma allergens. Dust mites, mold, and pollen are all common triggers for people with allergic asthma. Those allergens love hot, humid conditions.
  • Heat and humidity raise ozone levels. Ozone is the culprit in air pollution. Humidity makes the air stagnant, trapping pollutants such as car exhaust, as well as pollen and mold spores.

In addition, extreme changes in temperature can be a trigger when you have asthma. Think about what a shock it can be when you walk out of a cold, air-conditioned building into suffocating outdoor heat.

Hot, humid indoor air can also make it harder to breathe.

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How Heat Can Affect Your Copd

Your body is always working to maintain a normal body temperature. When you are exposed to extreme weather conditions, such as extreme heat and humidity, your body must use extra energy to try and cool down. This extra energy causes your body to work harder.

If you have COPD, you are already using much of your energy just to breathe. When you are in extreme heat your body uses more energy while working hard to keep your normal body temperature. If it gets too hot, this can affect a persons breathing.

Cpap And Humidity Your Questions Answered

I started CPAP therapy and now I have a cold, what happened?

I got water in my tubing, what do I do?

My CPAP is making funny gurgling noises, please help!

All of these questions are related to the same subject, humidity.

But what is humidity and how does it affect the CPAP user?When we are breathing normally, our nose and throat help to humidify the air coming into our body. When we add the increased air flow from the CPAP, the body cant keep up and this can cause either dryness or congestion.

When they get congested , may people feel that it is because there is too much moisture from the machine, however it is actually the opposite. Your body is producing more moisture in the nose in response to drier air. If you are experiencing any nasal congestion or dryness, you want to turn up your humidity level. If you require assistance with how to change your machines humidity levels, contact us by phone or send us an

Humidity levels will often need to be changed with the different seasons, or if a person is travelling to another climate. A good rule of thumb is if you are congested or dry, increase humidity , and if you have any condensation or water in your tube or mask, go down on your humidity level .

This entry was postedon June 27th, 2017 at 7:42 pmand is filed under News.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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Migraine Headaches And Weather Changes

Falling barometric pressure, a sharp increase in humidity, a sudden drop in temperature — these weather changes may trigger migraines in people already susceptible to them.

And it appears that stable weather may help reduce the incidence of migraines. “I had a patient here in New York who moved to Arizona and experienced an astounding improvement in her migraines,” says Richard Lipton, MD, director of the Montefiore Headache Center. While New Yorkers endure sudden and frequent changes in humidity levels and temperature, Arizona residents enjoy fairly uniform conditions marked by dry, warm air.

Research supports the theory that changing weather triggers migraines. In one survey that asked migraine sufferers to list triggers, 53% responded “weather.”

Not everyone can move to a different climate so they can feel better. But migraine sufferers can take some action against weather-induced headaches. First, Lipton urges his patients to keep a diary of their migraines to make cause-and-effect connections. Then, if weather changes seem to play a role in migraines, the next step may be to discuss pretreatment with a doctor to avoid the onset of pain.

Humidity Hampers The Bodys Cool

How Does Humidity Affect Asthma?

Though we do not often think of it, we are inherently fragile creatures. Something as seemingly small as a five degree drop in body temperature can cause severe health consequences, including hypothermia. Five degrees higher and the human body begins to experience hyperthermia. So on either end of the spectrum, when the core body temperature begins to deviate from the norm, problems can occur.

When outside temperatures approach the temperature of the human body the body undergoes a series of changes to help maintain a cool temperature. Sweating, altering the rate and depth of blood circulation, and increased respiration are all measures the body will take in an effort to cool itself down and shed excess heat. Cool mist humidifiers, like the Crane Blue Drop Humidifier, can help regulate temperatures and provide relief during the hot summer months.

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Heat Humidity And Asthma Symptoms

Hot, humid air may trigger asthma symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath. Keep summer asthma symptoms at bay with these tips.

People with mild asthma may find that when summer temperatures soar, along with humidity levels, their asthma symptoms begin to act up. Breathing in such hot environments could lead to coughing and shortness of breath, suggests research reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The researchers found that a room temperature of about 71 degrees Fahrenheit did not trigger asthma symptoms, but breathing in super-hot air at 120 degrees F did. They concluded that summer asthma exacerbations could be due, in part, to heat stress that affects the physiology of your airways and leads to an asthma reaction. At the same time, you might trace episodes of summer asthma to smog and other environmental pollutants.

Though it’s true the 120-degree temperatures used in the study aren’t typical outside of desert areas, temperatures can approach that peak almost anywhere during intense heat waves. So when the sun is calling and you’re itching to go outdoors, remember the risks summer’s heat and humidity pose.

Maintaining Proper Household Humidity

Knowing your homes humidity level is the first step to being able to rectify lowor highhumidity levels. Ensuring all of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment is working well is a good first step, including inspection both indoors and outdoors. Using a humidifier or dehumidifier may be necessary, either as a standalone unit or connected to your HVAC equipment such as your furnace, but you may be able to take other steps, too.

It makes sense that steps to increase household humidity are often the opposite of what is recommended to decrease household humidity: adding plants , boiling water on the stove , and air-drying clothes indoors, are all commonly stated ways to increase your homes humidity without buying a standalone humidifier.5

Another website went so far as to say to distribute buckets of water around your house to help humidify but honestly, that seems a little much, no? I havent made any changes yet, and I sure wont be going that route!

Have you ever checked your indoor humidity levels or made changes to modify the humidity inside your house? Let me know in the comments!

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What Are Some Resources To Help Me Track The Weather

Accuweather/AAFA personalized respiratory forecast; Visit for a personalized asthma forecast for your area. Enter your location. Then from the Personalized Forecasts drop-down menu, choose Respiratory. The Accuweather/AAFA forecast will show asthma alerts along with your forecast. The page also includes;tips from AAFA on managing weather-related asthma issues.

AirNow The Environmental Protection Agencys site on air quality gives your areas Air Quality Index . Based on the AQI, you can tell if air quality could affect your asthma. An AQI of 101 or above is dangerous for those with asthma. You can also sign up to get daily email alerts.

National Allergy Bureau – Sign up to receive email alerts or download the app from the AAAAI to alert you of your area’s pollen counts. Enter your zip code to get local pollen forecasts and pollen history.

Best Weather For Asthma

Why the dew point matters much more than humidity

There is no optimal weather condition for people with asthma, but many find that consistency in temperatures and conditions is better for symptoms.

Allergens and pollutants in the air are two of the most significant factors that affect asthma symptoms. Certain types of weather may increase both air pollution and common allergens.

Some people with asthma experience problems in very cold or hot temperatures, which can increase airway irritation. Mild temperatures and low levels of humidity might decrease the risk of airway irritation.

Not only is humidity a problem for people with asthma, but other weather conditions can also lead to symptoms.

The weather conditions most likely to trigger asthma include:

  • Extreme heat: When temperatures climb, pollution levels may also rise, which can trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Cold, dry air: Cold, dry air can irritate the airways and lead to bronchospasm. This often results in common asthma symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing.
  • Windy conditions: Common allergens, such as pollen, blow around in the wind. Add rain into the mix, and it can lead to an increase in mold spores. Both pollen and mold are common triggers for people with asthma.
  • Rapid changes in temperature: Some people are also sensitive to a quick change in weather conditions, such as heat one day and cold the next.

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