When you have a respiratory disease, triggers are a big deal. Sometimes, the trigger is the weather. It’s important to stay updated about the weather forecast so that you can implement preventative measures within your everyday life. Continue reading to keep yourself safe. Consider sharing this list so that others can get the help they need to deal with weather triggers.
There are many different types of lung conditions that you might suffer from. Briefly learn about them so that you understand what is out there and what you might have. It’s always best to visit your primary doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Types of Long-term Lung Conditions
- Asthma is a condition where the person’s airways are inflamed, causing them to swell or narrow. Many things can trigger it, and you may find it hard to breathe.
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a group of lung diseases containing chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The damages caused by them can’t be reversed.
- Chronic bronchitis means that the bronchial tubes are irritated and inflamed. The tubes are your airways and carry air to the lungs from the air sacs. Mucus builds up, and you can’t breathe.
- Emphysema means the walls between the air sacs get damaged, so they lose their shape. Sometimes, the air sac walls are destroyed. You may wheeze or be unable to breathe.
- Asbestosis is caused when you inhale asbestos fibers. Extensive exposure to such fibers causes scarring of the lung tissue, which leads to shortness of breath.
- Pulmonary fibrosis causes the lung tissue to get scarred with time. This means it is stiff and thick, making it hard to breathe. Plus, the blood might not get enough oxygen.
- Pneumonitis means inflammation of the lung tissues. Pneumonia is one type, but Pneumonitis usually refers to noninfectious lung inflammation.
Facts about the Spread of Respiratory diseases
Though many respiratory diseases are not spread to others through contact, some of them are. For example, pneumonia and bronchitis could be spread to others if it is caused by bacteria. Regardless, the indoor and outdoor air you breathe is a vehicle for airborne spread because some bacteria can get mixed with pollen, particulates, and other allergens.
If you’ve got a chronic lung condition or one caused by a virus, the weather can impact your ability to breathe:
Hot and Humid Weather Impact on Respiratory
Hot weather is rough for people with any respiratory disorder. Research has shown that, with rising temperatures, there are more emergency hospital admissions for those with respiratory tract infections and COPD in people 65 and older. Though no one knows why, it’s believed that inhaling hot air can promote inflammation of the airways, which exacerbates certain respiratory disorders.
Hot weather might also be an asthmatic trigger. Since people with asthma already live with inflamed airways, the weather could have more of an impact. They’re breathing in humid, hot air, which induces more airway constriction.
Air pollution could also be a factor because there’s increased smog in the ozone during the summer months.
Cold and Air Conditioning Impact on Respiratory
Cold weather or cold air through air conditioning can also cause trouble with your health and lungs. Cold air is usually dry and can be a significant issue for people with chronic lung diseases. For one, the airways are more irritated, which leads to coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
Cold Air with Other Factors
Sometimes, you’ve got to deal with cold air in relation to other factors, such as:
Cold and Meteorological Variables Impact
Even if it’s cold, the air can be damp. Asthmatic people often have more symptoms when it’s wet and cold than when it’s dry. However, you should focus on different meteorological variables. They’re called synoptic air masses, which means air pressure, humidity, visibility, wind speed, cloud cover, and others are used to determine how easy it is to breathe.
Cold and Air Pollution Impact
Some studies have depicted that cold temperatures and black smoke concentrations can increase your risk of dying from your respiratory illness. Since extreme cold and pollution coexist, this can have a damaging effect on you.
Cold relates to various long-term lung diseases, and general exposure can exacerbate the lungs. Breathing cold air at higher ventilation levels could cause ‘frozen lungs.’ Typically, the issue happens when the downward temperature changes below the seasonal range. If you live in an area with high pollution, you’re more likely to have breathing problems.
Air Conditioning, Cold, and Cigarette Smoke
Typically, cigarette smoke makes it harder to breathe. It kills the lungs and shrinks them with time. If you continue smoking and know you’ve got lung disease, you’re sure to have issues. When you add air conditioning (dry air) and the cold outside, which could include damp air, you’ve got a serious problem. The cigarette smoke constricts the airways, as does the cold or A/C. Therefore, you get a double dose of being unable to breathe.
Tips on Coping with Respiratory Conditions in Cold Weather
- Check the weather and stay inside when it is very cold. Watch air-quality reports each day.
- Stay warm. Wear layers when you’ve got to go outside. These include thermal base layers, wool tights and socks, and a coat.
- Keep active. Exercise helps to keep the blood circulating, which keeps the body warm.
- Plan ahead with your medications. Carry prescribed medicines with you and use bronchodilators about ½ hour before leaving your house
- Stop smoking.
- Maintain a healthy weight. It’s harder to breathe when you’re overweight, so lose weight and maintain it.
- Try different breathing techniques. It’s better to breathe slowly so that you don’t hyperventilate.
- Get vaccinated. Many breathing-related issues have vaccinations, so talk to your doctor about what you can do.
- Talk to your doctor and get checked out regularly.
Always do what you can to take care of yourself. Your health is very important, and you must protect it at all costs. Don’t forget about others! Share this information and these tips with your friends and family to help prevent respiratory breathing problems during the hot and cold months.