During the summer months many people want to get out and enjoy the nice weather. If you have a respiratory ailment, however, this can be dangerous as the heat brings with it potentially life threatening problems. There is hope: by keeping the following tips in mind you increase your summer safety.
- Summer allergens such as grass pollen and pet dander can be problematic. Be sure to keep some of your allergy medication close at hand in case your allergy symptoms start to flare up.
- Summer heat lessens the air quality sometimes increasing pollutants, which make breathing more difficult. Watch the weather to stay informed of the daily temperatures, heat index and air quality warnings!
- Remain cool! Your body uses more oxygen to lower your temperature. By staying cool you use less oxygen, so you can breathe easier. Also, the heat can trigger bronchospasms which cause the muscles lining your airways to contract and cramp, making breathing harder.
- Don’t overexert yourself! Working or exercising too much drastically raises your body temperature. Avoiding the heat of the day is very important, as it can quickly exhaust you. Consider doing yard work or other outdoor activities in the early morning hours or at night after the sun has started to set. If you must work outside during the day, be sure to take frequent breaks.
- Park your car in the shade and/or keep your windows cracked to prevent excessive heat. Keeping the windows open just slightly lets the hot air move through the car, instead of just building up inside it. When you can, start your car a few minutes before you actually have to leave to allow it to cool before you enter, just as you would allow it to heat up in the winter.
- Don’t miss a treatment! Portable nebulizers are great for summer trips. They are also handy to ensure you are prepared for a treatment even when the power is out. While you don’t want to ever miss a treatment, you also don’t want to have to cut your summer fun short, so having a portable nebulizer to bring along with you helps preserve the fun and your health.
- And, last but certainly not least, STAY HYDRATED! This is perhaps the most important rule, as without proper hydration your body begins to work less efficiently. Plus, cold water naturally cools your body back to its normal temperature. Keep some close by whenever you’re outside.