What Should Asthma and COPD Patients Pay Attention to in Summer Heat?

What Should Asthma and COPD Patients Pay Attention to in Summer Heat?
What Should Asthma and COPD Patients Pay Attention to in Summer Heat?

📩 28/07/2023 10:55

Weather conditions have significant effects on the health status of those with chronic lung disease. For example, cold and dry weather can irritate sensitive respiratory tracts, causing shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing, while hot and humid weather can lead to increased airway inflammation, shortness of breath and exacerbation of chronic diseases such as COPD. In these days when the summer heat is felt most intensely, Medicana International İzmir Hospital Chest Diseases Specialist Dr. Merda Erdemir Işık gave important warnings for those with chronic lung diseases.

Stating that asthma and COPD patients should be more careful than ever in hot weather, Dr. Merda Erdemir Işık made the following statements on the subject: “Our body is always working to maintain normal heat balance, but when exposed to hot air and humidity, extra effort is required to cool off. Since COPD patients use most of their current energy to breathe, they may experience an increase in shortness of breath due to the body trying to cool down in hot weather. Similar problems may arise due to the increase in humidity level. As the moist air condenses, it becomes difficult for COPD patients to breathe. Asthma patients also need to take precautions. The stagnation of air in hot temperatures can cause the trapping of pollutant particles in the air, triggering attacks of asthma patients. As a result, the airways narrow and it becomes difficult to breathe.”

Strenuous activities should be avoided

Reminding that it is very important for chronic lung patients, whose complaints of shortness of breath increase as a result of the increase in air temperature, it is very important to avoid strenuous activities in hot weather, Işık touched upon seasonal considerations as follows: shouldn't go out. In indoor environments with high indoor air quality and ideal temperature value, it is easier for patients to remain stable in respiratory functions. If it is necessary to go outside in hot weather, light-colored, breathable and non-tightening clothes should be preferred in order not to raise the body temperature too much. Protecting the head from the sun is equally important.”

Avoid Tea and Coffee

Dr. Merda Erdemir Işık concluded her warnings stating that the risks of dehydration (fluid loss) increase in hot weather for both healthy individuals and those with chronic lung diseases: “In hot weather, body temperature is balanced with sweating, and sweating causes water loss in the body. Also, the wrong choice of drink causes the body to become more dehydrated. For this reason, drinks containing caffeine such as tea and coffee should be avoided, these drinks increase water loss. What chronic lung patients should do is drink plenty of water; Thus, it is possible to balance the body temperature and reduce the risk of dehydration. Drinking water is also of great importance to dilute mucus, reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections, and support lung function. Taking all these precautions and using the prescribed drugs regularly can minimize respiratory complaints in hot weather.”