Rising Temperatures Could Spell Trouble for Asthma Sufferers

Many parts of the country are experiencing weather conditions more consistent with August than June this week. People who have asthma or other breathing difficulties should pay attention to Ozone Alerts in their area. High temperatures combined with pollution could pose a health for these people, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).

"We are seeing more patients in trouble with asthma. Ozone is a respiratory irritant that makes asthma worse, and the dense heat may be irritating their lungs," said Dr. William Johnson.

The AAAAI recommends the following steps for asthmatics and other people whose breathing problems are irritated by high temperatures:

  • Keep windows closed at night to seal cooler air in the home.
  • Use an air conditioner to keep air clean, cool, and dry.
  • Keep car windows closed with air conditioner on when traveling.
  • Avoid outdoor exercise.
  • Minimize outdoor activity on days when temperatures are excessively high.
  • Take medications as prescribed in the recommended dosage. Do not take more medication to alleviate severe symptoms without consulting your doctor.

People with asthma have inflamed airways, which can become even more inflamed after exposure to various triggers. Managing asthma often includes taking medication, to reduce the inflammation. This prevents asthma flare-ups and ensures that airways are as open as possible.

People with asthma should follow their physician's instructions on the appropriate use and dosage of prescribed medications. "Do not decrease your asthma controller medication. You may have to actually increase your medication if your asthma worsens

People seeking effective relief from asthma or breathing problems that have been irritated by heat should call us for further recommendations and help.

Date: 8/19/2007

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