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Easing Summertime Exacerbations of COPD

July2020image004Living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is never easyespecially during the summer when the increased heat, humidity and pollen can make breathing almost unbearable and possibly lead to flare-ups or other symptoms. Fortunately, there are ways COPD sufferers can participate in summertime fun while remaining comfortable and, most importantly, safe.

The first thing is to stay in the shade as much as possible. Extreme summer temperatures can make breathing difficult even for people with healthy lungsso you can imagine what they can do to someone with COPD. If you are participating in an outdoor activity, make sure there is a shady or cool spot nearby where you can take a break. An air-conditioned building is ideal, though sometimes just the shade of a tree is enough to regulate body temperature and help you catch your breath.

When making plans, always keep your eye on the clock. Try to avoid the hottest time of day, typically between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., by organizing something in the morning or at sunset to help keep your body cool.

On days when it is really hot, staying indoors may be the safest thing. Walking the mall or going to a movie are great ways for COPD patients to keep cool. Another option is having friends over to your house or going to theirsas long as it is air-conditioned, of course.

Staying hydrated is always important, especially during the summer when maintaining a safe body temperature can reduce the risk of a COPD flare-up. Keeping water handy is important. For example, keep a cooler stocked with bottled water in your car. And make sure you are drinking a bottle of water every two hours. If you are sweating heavily, drink one an hour.

For more on keeping COPD in check during the summer, check out the complete story.