Know The Signs Of A Copd Flare
It is important for people with COPD and their caregivers to understand the warning signs of a COPD flare-up Learn how to treat and prevent them. Signs of worsening COPD could include increased shortness of breath, as well as increased coughing and sputum .
If you notice any of these symptoms, follow the advice in your COPD action plan. If you don’t know what to do or if your symptoms are getting worse, call your doctor. If you can’t reach your doctor, go to the hospital emergency department.
Any questions? Call our Lung Health Information Line at 1-866-717-COPD .
Tips For Surviving Summer Asthma
Many of the strategies you can use to prevent summer asthma symptoms from flaring are the same ones you would apply to stay comfortable:
If you have summer asthma, the season can seem to last forever. But a few lifestyle changes can limit your exposure to heat and humidity. Take care of yourself, and take heart that cooler days are ahead.
Whats Happening In Your Childs Body
When your childs airways come into contact with cold air, their body releases a chemical called Histamine. This is the same chemical released during anallergic reaction.
During an allergic reaction, it can cause swelling, itchiness, and trouble breathing. Histamine can cause the lungs to swell making the airways tighter. When their airways are tight it makes it harder to take a good breath, which can result in an asthma attack.
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How Does Humidity Affect Our Body And Lungs
Humidity has the largest effect on higher temperatures, increasing the feels like temperatures between 4 oC to 24 oC or more as the air temperature increases above 27 oC and humidity reaches 100%. This is also called the heat index.
Humidity has 3 major effects on the body as follows;
1.; ; ; ;Regulating Core Body Temperature
High humidity reduces the ability for the body to reduce the core temperature by reducing the ability to release heat through the skin. If the temperature and humidity is causing the feels like temperature to be raised above 38 oC, it can result in dehydration as the body releases water to try and decrease temperature.
Low humidity causes the body to lose body heat by drawing water from the skin. This works at reducing the feels like temperature but only by a few degrees Celsius.
2.; ; ; ;Humidity Levels and Temperature in the Lungs
Lower humidity levels below 30% cause a drying effect of the air inside of the lungs. This is caused if the bodys core temperature starts dropping below 36 oC, resulting in vasoconstriction in the airways to reduce heat loss. This effects the temperature in the lungs and results in drier mucus from heat loss of the body, along with the low humidity in the air in the lungs, resulting in slower mucus clearance and agitation to the airway walls causing a cough.
3.; ; ; ;Increased Pathogens or particles in the lungs;;
1. John Blake, Mucus flows
Avoid Winter Asthma Triggers
Asthma triggers can vary among individuals. The most common include mold, dust,;pet dander and others. As you spend more time inside, you have more exposure to these common indoor allergens. The winter can also bring unique triggers, like smoke from a fire or a fresh Christmas tree in the living room.;
Here are ways to limit your exposure to these triggers:
- Wash bedding in hot water once a week.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom.
- Have someone else dust and vacuum.
- Use allergen covers on mattresses and pillows.
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Ask The Advocates: Does Heat Have An Impact On Asthma
- Reactions 0 reactions
Sometimes ones asthma gets worse when it’s very hot outside. So we asked our advocate team of respiratory therapists and asthma educators the question: Does heat have an impact on asthma? Here are their responses:
Response from Theresa Cannizzarro, Respiratory Therapist:
Heat is one of my biggest asthma triggers. Some asthmatics are effected more than others when it is hot outside. Generally, when it’s warmer outside heat and sunlight combine with pollutants which can set off ones asthma. Heat with humidity can also be an asthma trigger. The moisture in the air makes it damp and heavy can make it harder to breathe. Humidity can also cause mold to grow faster which is another known asthma trigger. Not all asthmatics are adversely effected by the hot and humid air. Some do better when it is humid. Others notice that the dry hot air sets off their asthma more. It is important to figure out what your individual triggers are so you can take steps to protect yourself.
Response from Leon C. Lebowitz, BA, RRT:
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.
Response from John Bottrell, RRT:
Response from Lyn Harper, MPA, BSRT, RRT:
Response from Lorene Alba, AE-C:
What Causes Asthma Symptoms To Flare Up
Asthma symptom triggers may not be the same for every person who suffers from the disease, but common triggers include:
- Air pollution
- Stress & Anxiety
Once you recognize the factors that trigger your asthma symptoms, it is important to avoid them whenever possible. If you live in an area that is full of environmental pollutants, you may want to consider the possibility of moving to an area with cleaner air. Additionally, consider getting an air purifier for your home, as they can help cleanse the air of potential environmental triggers associated with asthma.
If you currently smoke, you should do everything you can to stop the habit before it makes your asthma symptoms even worse. If you want to learn how to live a life with less asthma flair-ups, you should do everything you can to avoid your personal;triggers and take the necessary medication to manage your symptoms.
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Asthma & Allergy Care In Mississippi
If you suffer from asthma that worsens in certain weather conditions, it is important to have a plan of action.
The doctors at Mississippi Asthma & Allergy Clinic know that prevention of symptoms is the best form or treatment. We will work with you to figure out what scenarios trigger your symptoms so you can avoid them, as well as develop a routine care plan to keep asthma at bay. Schedule your appointment at one of our five convenient locations!
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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Can Weather Affect A Person’s Asthma
Yes. Weather conditions can bring on asthma symptoms. Some people’s asthma symptoms get worse at certain times of the year. For others, a severe storm or sudden weather change can trigger a flare-up.
- Cold, dry air is a common asthma trigger and can cause bad flare-ups. That’s especially true for people who play winter sports and have exercise-induced asthma.
- Hot, humid air also can be a problem. In some places, heat and sunlight combine with pollutants to create ground-level ozone. This kind of ozone can be a strong asthma trigger.
- Wet weather and windy weather can cause problems, too. Wet weather encourages the growth of mold, and;wind can blow mold and pollen through the air.
If you think weather may be triggering your asthma, work with your doctor to track your symptoms using an asthma symptoms trigger diary. Do you think that your asthma might be triggered by pollen, mold, or other allergens? Ask your doctor about allergy testing.
How Does Climate Change Impact Seasonal Allergies
Many scientists and doctors think climate change is a factor behind a recent rise in allergies and extreme pollen seasons. Fueled by higher temperatures and milder winters, plants are blooming earlier and longer in some parts of the country. The extended growing season means higher levels of pollen in the air.
Many people with allergies experience worse symptoms when early spring weather fluctuates between warm and cold. This is called the priming effect. When theres an early warm spell, trees and grass release a first round of pollen. The resulting allergic reaction primes a persons immune system for more severe pollen reactions later in the spring.
During longer allergy seasons with high pollen counts, allergy patients may find they need to use more medication to manage symptoms. Talk with your doctor about whether you should adjust your allergy management plan or medication schedule. Find out whether allergen immunotherapy for pollen is right for you.
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Optimal Climate Within The Lungs
The optimal climatic conditions for our lungs to function are as follows:
1.;;;;;; Core Body Temperature 37 oC with a range of between 36 oC and 38 oC being normal
2.;;;;;; Lung Air Humidity 100%
3.;;;;;; Air Quality Index 0
4.;;;;;; pH Level 7.4
Now it is important to understand that this is the climate which the body works towards maintaining in our lungs for optimal hygiene and mucus transportation. There is a big difference between what the climate of the lungs are and what the outside climate is to help the body to maintain this and there are a number of bodily functions which go into maintaining this climate.
Changes to outside factors like the weather, smoke, pollution, wind, etc all upset this balance for a period of time and the body needs to adjust to this as efficiently as possible. I will explain this in more depth through the article of how the body handles these changes.
Ways To Manage Asthma In The Summer Heat And Humidity
Often for chronic respiratory conditions, like asthma, prevention of flare-ups is the best treatment. Preventative measures include using air conditioners to reduce humidity and pollution, changing the air condition filter every season, having your rescue inhaler available at all times and using it when there is cough or chest tightness, saysNoha Polack, MD, a pediatrician at Progressive Pediatrics in Union City, New Jersey.
Dr. Poinsett and Dr. Reddy recommend the following steps to manage asthma and avoid triggers during the summer months:
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Best Weather For Asthma
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.
Does Hot Weather Affect Asthma
Asthma sufferers might have noticed that their symptoms have flared up recently, with temperatures soaring as high as 35C in areas in the UK this week.
Sudden changes in temperature, hot weather, cold weather, and thunderstorms all trigger asthma symptoms for some people.
The most common symptoms of asthma are wheezing, breathlessness, a thigh chest, and coughing.
While many things can cause these symptoms, you will know its asthma if they happen often and keep coming back, are worse at night and early in the morning, and happen as a result of a typical asthma trigger.
For example, an allergy could cause your wheezing or exercise could cause you to cough.
The causes of this arent clear but;asthma.org;explains two possible reasons.
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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.
When To Get Medical Care
If you begin to experience asthma symptoms and havent received a diagnosis, speak with a doctor. They can diagnose your condition and recommend treatment based on your symptoms.
If youve already been diagnosed with asthma, continue getting regular checkups from your doctor. This will allow your doctor to monitor your progress and adjust your treatment as necessary.
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How Does The Weather Affect Symptoms
- Humid air is moist and heavy. When the air is stagnant, air quality goes down, making breathing harder for everyone. It can trigger an asthma and allergy flare-up since mold and bacteria grow better in moist environments. Humid weather can worsen allergy symptoms.
- Hot weather often impacts air quality. Ozone can rise to dangerous levels, irritating your respiratory system. Increased traffic, exhaust, smog and other pollutants can make breathing harder if you have asthma.
- Cold, dry air may seem better for your breathing than hot, humid air, but unfortunately, breathing it in can make the bronchial tubes constrict and spasm as they try to keep airways open, making symptoms worse.
- Thunderstorms bring barometric changes, high humidity and winds that blow pollen and mold spores everywhere. This can lead to a phenomenon called thunderstorm asthma. In addition, lightning generates nitrogen oxides that can impact ground-level ozone, irritating the lungs and airways.
- Changing weather patterns alter barometric pressure, which can trigger sinus problems and make breathing harder if you have asthma.
Coping With Asthma And Heat
You probably know the major asthma triggers well tobacco smoke, pollen, extreme exercise, pet dander but there are others that lie in wait for the warmer months.
New allergens and irritants can begin to bother you as the weather warms, and both heat and humidity have been found to trigger asthma episodes, too. Research shows that extreme temperature can bring on symptoms, and since humid air is more difficult to breathe, it can strain the lungs and airways even more.
If you live in a hot and humid place, the key to surviving asthma and heat during the summer season is to spot the less obvious triggers and learn how to keep them at arms length.
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Tips To Help Prevent Cold Weather Asthma
Even though it can be challenging during winter for those with asthma, here are a few things that you can do as a parent to help your child enjoy this time of year.
1. Bundle Up
If possible, dont let your child go outside if the temperature drops below 10° F. If they have to go outside, be sure they wear warm, weather-appropriate clothing. One thing that should also be considered is wearing a scarf or fabric mask over the face. Wearing one of these over the mouth and nose can help prevent cold-weather asthma by warming the air before it reaches the lungs.
2. Use your inhaler
If your child plans on exercising or playing outside in the cold weather,ask your healthcare professional about having them use their inhaler 15-30 minutes before they go outside. This will open their airways, making it easier for them to breathe in the cold air.
Also, be sure to have their inhaler nearby while they are outside. Even though they took their inhaler ahead of time, they could still experience an asthma attack from extreme cold. Either have them keep it in their pocket if theyre responsible, or hold onto it yourself and monitor their activity.