Enlist The Help Of A Professional
Don’t feel like you have to endure worsening symptoms during the hot and humid weather. If you’re having breathing difficulty and finding that it’s interfering with your normal activity, it’s important that you seek medical help.
Make sure all your medication is available and up-to-date. At this time of year, its easy to get caught off guard with expired medication or worse, no immediate access to the right medications.
For more information visit nationalasthma.org.au
What Are Other Methods For Managing Humidity
While dehumidifiers can certainly help to ease any humidity-induced asthma attacks, they will always work best alongside other medically approved methods for asthma management. As Shepherd notes, these include:
- Reducing exposure to allergens or irritants that trigger asthma
- Getting an annual flu shot
- Weight management
- Limiting exposure to any allergens including pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander.
- Avoiding smoking of cigarettes, vaping
- Breathing exercises such as the Buteyko technique
Is Dry Heat Or Humidity Better For Good Health
The level of humidity in the air may not be something that youve thought about when it comes to your health, but it certainly plays a role in your total well-being.
The answer to the question, whether dry heat or humidity is better, is actually neither, as an extreme in either direction isnt good for health. It can also depend on your current physical state and any particular health conditions you may or may not have.
For example, people with COPD and asthma may have difficulty breathing in high humidity. High indoor humidity can increase common indoor air pollutants like dust mites, bacteria and viruses, and may also be a source of mold which can irritate the throat and lungs in addition to worsening asthma symptoms.
But low humidity can also cause problems.
Heaters and cold temperatures during the winter months often lead to dry air with low humidity that can cause dry skin, itchy eyes and irritated sinuses. When exposed for long periods, it can dry out and inflame the mucous membrane lining in the respiratory system, which can lead to an increased risk of getting the flu, colds and other infections. Certain viruses can survive longer in low humidity, which further increases the risk of contracting an infection. A 2009 study from Princeton University found that flu viruses not only survive longer, they spread more easily in low humidity.
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Tips To Decrease House Humidity
Much of the humidity in the house results from our own lifestyle habits. There are a number of things we can do to decrease humidity in the house.
While doctors used to recommend that patients move to warm dry climates that you find in places like Arizona and New Mexico, but air conditioning and dehumidifiers have largely made these recommendations a thing of the past. You can now control your microenvironment in the home at a relatively low cost. However, you do not want to make the air too dry.
While too humid air can lead to increases in dust mites and other triggers, a relative humidity of less than 15% can lead to a significant cough for asthmatics. Drying out the mucous membranes of your respiratory system may place you at increased risk for infections from viruses and bacteria due to decreasing natural defenses from the common cold virus or influenza. Dry mucous membranes also may aggravate allergy symptoms and make your asthma symptoms worse.
Why To Try Breathing Techniques
Many people are benefited by practicing breathing techniques experts have found that asthma patients have a tendency to breathe more quickly than non-asthma patients. Breathing exercises will help asthma patients to avoid and reduce potential attacks by encouraging shallower, more controlled breathing. Breathing exercise will also help them to become relaxed, more mindful the way they breathe all the times. By following these exercises you can reduce the asthma symptoms.
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Sports For People With Exercise
Theres no reason to stop playing sports or working out because you have EIA. As well as keeping you fit, exercise can strengthen the breathing muscles in the chest and help your lungs work better. Doctors no longer tell people with asthma to avoid exercising and, in fact, often recommend it as part of asthma treatment.
Some sports and activities are less likely to cause problems, though. These include:
- an easy walk, jog, or hike
- shorter track and field events
Some sports are more challenging for people with exercise-induced asthma, such as:
- long-distance running, cycling, or other endurance sports
- soccer, basketball, and other sports that demand a lot of energy
- cold-weather sports like cross-country skiing or ice hockey
You probably still can do even the most challenging sports if you truly enjoy them. It just takes careful management, the right medicine, and proper training.
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Know When To See Your Doctor
Even though it may seem normal to have more difficulty breathing when weather conditions are extreme, there are times when you should seek medical help.
In most cases, shortness of breath is not normal, says Dr. Khatri.
Any new shortness of breath should be immediately evaluated, as should any shortness of breath that cant be explained by the cold or flu or by just being out of shape, she says. And if at any point you notice youre having breathing difficulty thats interfering with your normal activity, you need to seek medical care to have your symptoms further evaluated.
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How Humidity Affects Asthma
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.
The Correlation Between Lung Cancer And Low Magnesium
Research has shown that a low intake of magnesium in the diet leads to systematic inflammation and that this condition is associated with increased lung cancer risk . In a study measuring newly diagnosed lung cancer patients against healthy controls, there was an inverse association between the dietary intake of magnesium and the risk of lung cancer. They found that increasing magnesium decreased lung cancer risk by between 17 and 53 percent. In addition, the authors of this study believed that magnesium was able to achieve this effect because it helps maintain genetic stability, regulates cell proliferation, is a protector against inflammations, and helps to protect against oxidative stress, all to maintain healthy lung function.
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How Does A Dehumidifier Work For Asthma
As Dr. Jessica Shepherd, Chief Medical Officer of Very well healthDehumidifiers are not recommended as the only tool for managing asthma, according to Live Science, but in some cases dehumidifiers can help. Dehumidifiers shouldnt be used to manage asthma, but yes, they can relieve asthma symptoms, she says.
As Shepherd explains, dehumidifiers are only useful if high humidity is a factor that exacerbates asthma.
So far, scientific evidence about the benefits of dehumidifiers for asthma shows that Shepherds assessment is very accurate. While dehumidifiers are useful, they are certainly not very useful during periods of normal humidity levels.
2013 double-blind study Cochrane database of systematic reviews Studies on the effects of mechanical dehumidifiers on asthma patients have shown that dehumidifiers do not have a noticeable effect on asthma control.
However, American Asthma Allergy Foundation Precautions, high temperatures and thicker air can adversely affect your breathing, which in turn can lead to lung inflammation and breathing problems. Shepherd adds: Heat and humidity change the air and increase the demand for oxygen. If the humidity level exceeds 45%, mold will form, so you can also use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level, especially at home. Important. Bacterial and Chilean mite growth-these are all common triggers for asthma.
Humid Air Is Heavy And Harder To Breathe In
Have you ever felt that it is harder to breathe when atmospheric conditions are hot and humid? A study published a few years ago found that humid air actually increases airway inflammation and causes airways to narrow.4
Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT, here at Asthma.net states:
“If youve ever exercised on a hot, summer day you know that it seems harder to breathe. Add some humidity to the scenario, and breathing is even more difficult. These very same conditions seem to create much more difficulty for those with asthma. It is not entirely clear as to why the heat and humidity affect asthmatics the way they do. Quite simply, hot, humid air is heavier than normal air and so, is more difficult to breathe. These conditions create a chain reaction of events that can raise the body temperature, increase sweating and possibly dehydration, and cause you to breathe at a faster rate. When a person with asthma is having difficulty breathing , these conditions can easily exacerbate asthma symptoms, even without actually causing them.”
Besides the effect that breathing warm air, especially warm, humid air can have on your ability to breathe, there are other factors to consider. Hot, moist air creates the perfect breeding ground for mold growth and dispersal of mold spores into the air. It’s also a great environment for dust mite growth. These are two of the main allergens for people who have allergic asthma.
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Types Of Humidifiers & How They Help Asthma Symptoms
There are quite a few different types of humidifiers, and each of them has an impact in a different way. Heres a breakdown of the most common types of humidifiers:
Warm mist vaporizers work by turning water into steam and then cooling it slightly, so it comes out as a thicker mist. These are a great way of regulating your humidity accurately, and the warm, moist air can be perfect for asthma sufferers who live in cold environments.
They work particularly well when paired with central heating.
Cool mist humidifiers are really common and use barely any power to run. There are a few different methods used, but they all help make the air seem cooler. This can be useful for asthma sufferers in warm, dry areas and effectively relieve irritation on mouths and noses.
Evaporative humidifiers are by far the most common type of humidifier which has been used for decades. They use a heat source to evaporate water and then a fan to spread it throughout the room. Ultrasonic humidifiers use vibration to create very fine water particles.
No boiling water is needed, and only cold water is expelled into the room.
Ultrasonic humidifiers dont use boiled water, so theres a greater risk of contaminants being released into the room. These can often trigger your asthma, and you may be better with an evaporative humidifier.
Tips For Kids With Exercise
For the most part, kids with exercise-induced asthma can do anything their peers can do. But be sure to follow the suggestions given by your childs doctor.
Here are some tips for kids and teens:
- If symptoms start, dont exercise until they stop.
- Warm up before exercise to prevent chest tightening.
- Take quick-relief medicine as close to the start of exercise as possible.
- Breathe through the nose during exercise.
- Take brief rests during exercise and use quick-relief medicine, as prescribed, if symptoms start.
- Cool down after exercise to help slow the change of air temperature in the lungs.
Its also best not to exercise outside during very cold weather. If your child plays outside when its cold, wearing a ski mask or a scarf over the mouth and nose should help.
If air pollution or pollen are triggers, your child may want to exercise indoors when air quality is poor or pollen counts are high. And kids shouldnt exercise when they have a or other upper respiratory infection.
Kids should always have access to their quick-relief medicine. Keep extras on hand and be sure to check all supplies so your child isnt carrying an empty inhaler.
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How Can I Manage And Treat My Eib
With proper management, you can enjoy exercise and achieve your full potential. Proper management requires that you:
- Take steps to prevent symptoms
- Take medicine before exercising
- Do a proper warm up for 6 to 10 minutes before periods of exercise or vigorous activity
- Carefully watch your respiratory status before, during and after exercise
Children With EIB Inform teachers and coaches if you have a child with EIB. Kids with EIB should be able to take part in activities they just may need medication before an activity.
Athletes With EIB If you are an athlete, disclose your medicines and adhere to standards set by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Request a list of approved and prohibited medications from the Committee hotline at 1-800-233-0393.
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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.
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How Is A Dehumidifier Good For Asthma
As Dr. Jessica Shepherd, Chief Medical Officer of Verywell Health, told Live Science, dehumidifiers are not recommended as the only tool to manage asthma, but in certain cases, they can be useful. “Dehumidifiers should not be used to manage asthma, however, yes, they can ease asthma symptoms,” she says.
As Shepherd explains, dehumidifiers are only useful if high humidity is a factor that is aggravating your asthma.
So far, the scientific evidence on the benefits of dehumidifiers for asthma shows that Shepherd’s assessment is pretty spot on: while they can help, they are certainly not all that useful during periods of “normal” humidity levels.
A 2013 double-blind study from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews on the effects of mechanical dehumidifiers on asthmatic patients showed that dehumidifiers made no noticeable impact on asthma control.
However, as the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America notes, high temperatures and thicker air can negatively affect your breathing, which can, in turn, lead to lung irritation and breathing problems. As Shepherd adds, “Heat and humidity create changes in the air which will increase the demand for oxygen. It is also important to monitor the humidity level, especially in the home, with a hygrometer as humidity levels that are over 45% encourage mold, bacteria, and dust mites growth – all of which are common asthma triggers.”
Avoid The Triggers You Can Control
Be aware of your usual triggers that might coincide with hot weather cigarette smoke, bushfires and pollen in particular. Air pollution and ozone levels can trigger asthma symptoms in some people with asthma.
Keep an eye on the weather alerts for high pollution or high ozone days. On days of high pollution or ozone, or when there is bushfire smoke, try to stay indoors with the doors and windows closed. Also try to do as little outdoor activity as possible, especially later in the day. If your asthma symptoms do start, act promptly to stop it turning into an asthma attack.
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Will A Humidifier Help Relieve Asthma
Humidifiers help to regulate the air in your home by adding or removing moisture. While humidifiers wont stop your asthma or provide a miracle cure, they can help still bring many benefits to people living with asthma.
They do this by helping to prevent asthma from being triggered and by helping to relieve the symptoms.
Asthma Outcomes And The Whole Patient: Beyond The Pharmacological
The stepped pharmacotherapy strategy familiar from asthma guidelines may encourage the belief that stronger medication is needed when control is poor. Some patients do indeed have severe, therapy-resistant disease, requiring more effective pharmacotherapy. However, good-quality management can often improve outcomes even in this group , and psychosocial problems and non-adherence are common in people with asthma of all severity levels. Asthma is incurable and usually a lifelong condition, and the recurrent and unpredictable experience of having to struggle to breathe is frightening and disturbing, potentially undermining overall wellbeing. If other life stressors are present, such as co-morbidity, psychosocial disadvantage or a lack or resilience to stress resulting from genetic or environmentally factors, some will experience symptoms as more distressing and may not cope with them well.
Over-breathing and abnormal breathing patterns are commonly associated with anxiety, and breathing-control exercises have long been used as a treatment for anxiety and panic. Hyperventilation and other abnormalities in breathing have also been associated with asthma, implicated as triggers for bronchoconstriction and the production of asthma-like symptoms in patients of all levels of objective asthma severity .
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