Summer does not provide prior warnings of its arrival to allow us sufficient time to adapt to the shift in temperatures. The summer undoubtedly energizes many people, but those suffering from respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma can confront challenges breathing in the extreme summer heat.
Extreme heat and high humidity can result in cases of asthma flareups and other respiratory diseases, making it necessary for affected people to visit the walk-in clinic in Baytown for attention. In addition, several studies have established the association between hot weather and breathing difficulties.
Extreme Hot Weather Does Affect Breathing
When the temperatures around you are rising, you confront stagnant air and increased pollution, making it challenging for you to breathe correctly. Your body needs extra oxygen to maintain internal temperature when the extremities are hitting the roof, whether in extreme heat or cold. The weather can affect lung functionality to result in rapid breathing or hyperpnea. Scientific research reveals the different effects of hot weather on breathing which include:
During the summer, the increase of the pollen count in the air is standard. However, the increase triggers respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath issues from respiratory illnesses like asthma, COPD, or allergic rhinitis.
Studies published by the respiratory physiology & neurobiology Journal determined that hot air causes airway irritation and cough in people suffering from an inflammatory disease of the upper airways. The activation of thermal sensors in the larynx and the upper airways is considered responsible for the irritation.
The European respiratory journal states that breathing hot air causes inflammation in the airways and results in shortness of breath or bronchoconstriction.
Furthermore, dehydration is common in hot weather to dry out the nasal passage, bronchial tubes, and the lungs resulting in shortness of breath. Research reveals that hot air can hold additional water vapors than cool air to result in less oxygen and higher humidity. The dense air is difficult to breathe for people with chronic lung problems.
During extremely high temperatures, the air becomes stagnant to trap pollutants to worsen respiratory symptoms, states the Lancet.
Caring for Your Lungs during Extreme Summer Heat
Making simple changes to your daily routine can help take care of your lungs. Some examples include the following:
- Remain Indoors: Do not step out in the hot air unless necessary from your place. Keep the windows and doors closed to keep your place cool.
- Watch out for Weather Updates: before stepping out of your house for any reason, check the temperature and humidity levels and the air quality index. Do not consider going out if there are high pollen levels and other matters in the air because they can cause coughing and wheezing to send you to the nearest Baytown ER seeking a remedy. If you cannot avoid going out, consider wearing a mask to prevent inhalation of pollutants and pollen.
- Plan Your Day: the hottest time during the day is between 11 PM and 3 PM. Therefore you must avoid stepping out of your house between these times. Plan work or other activities early in the morning or evening when the temperature gets cooler.
- Quit Smoking: If you are a smoker, consider quitting the habit to improve your breathing and lung function. Staying away from alcohol also helps because it prevents dehydration.
- Choose Appropriate Clothing: the summer is not the time when you can display your wardrobe. You must consider wearing loose and light-colored cotton clothing during the summer.
- Avoid Straining Yourself: the summer is when you must conserve energy and avoid strenuous exercises like running, cycling, or walking uphill unless you want to receive treatment for dehydration from the 24-hour ER near me.
- Dietary Changes: You must keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and having foods with high water content. You can find watermelons, musk melon, mangoes, and cucumbers suitable for this purpose.
- Cool Your Body: If you feel overheated, consider taking frequent showers. When venturing outdoors, cover yourself with a hat, scarf, shrug, or an umbrella.
- Prepare for Health Emergencies: If you are affected by breathing problems, it helps to keep emergency quick relief medications around or at least have the details of 24-hour emergency care near you.
Extreme hot weather during the summer can affect everyone, but people with pre-existing lung conditions are right at higher risk of developing adverse health issues. While people can find help from the emergency room in Baytown, they must prepare themselves ahead of time before venturing out to safeguard themselves.
If you or any family member gets affected by breathing problems because of extreme summer heat, Altus Emergency Room provides 24-hour services and even welcomes walk-in patients. Please keep the information handy to deal with emergencies.