Summer Love for Your Lungs

Summer Love for Your Lungs

Summer months can be tough on your health especially with the increase in air pollution, heat, and humidity. This can be particularly harmful for those individuals who have chronic lung conditions such as asthma, allergies, or, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For those who have pre-existing chronic lung conditions are at higher risk for flare ups particularly in the summer. Reactions can range from mild to life-threatening, and symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath, fatigue, or itchy, red, watery eyes.

How can you protect yourself in the summer heat? Use these tips: 

  1. Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day. Plan for activities during the cooler hours of the day such as early morning or evening.
  2. Avoid allergens and other triggers. Pay attention to what triggers flare ups for you.
  3. Use medications as prescribed. Make sure you keep your emergency inhalers with you at all times.
  4. Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate. If you are limited on how much fluid you can drink for a medical condition, talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
  5. Check the Air Quality Index before you leave your home. If it’s bad, plan to stay inside.
  6. Do not over exert yourself when exercising and try to exercise during the cooler hours of the day.
  7. Ensure that your home is air conditioned and change the filters on a regular basis.
  8. Go to the doctor if you need to. If you have symptoms that do not improve with the medications that have been prescribed to you, make sure you call your doctor. 

If you are looking for indoor spaces for exercise and physical activity, check out these options: http://www.hr.emory.edu/eu/wellness/fitnessfacilities/facilities.html.

 

Sources:

UC Davis Health System, and Public Affairs and Marketing. “Surviving Summer with Chronic Lung Disease.” Newsroom, 19 June 2017, www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/12098.

National Emphysema Foundation (NEF), “Managing COPD in the Summer,” 2018. www.emphysemafoundation.org/index.php/living-with-copd/97-therapeutic-toolbox-articles/224-managing-copd-in-the-summer.

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America: http://www.aafa.org