Asthma and Humidity
By Mark Perry
Any factor that exerts pressure on lungs triggers asthma symptoms in asthma patients. There are many different causative agents for asthma. Basing on the causative agents, asthma is generally classified as the extrinsic asthma and the intrinsic asthma. Humidity is the culprit for intrinsic asthma. Let’s see how humidity exerts its influence over asthma symptoms.
The main enemies for people with asthma are heat and humidity. The combined action of these two reduces the amount of air intake into the lungs of asthma patients. Increase in heat promotes the growth of molds that in turn act as allergens initiating the symptoms of asthma.
Another fact is that increase in external temperature automatically increases body temperature, and that in turn increases the body metabolism which demands more oxygen. In asthma patients, meeting increased demands of oxygen is a nightmare. On the other hand, the humidity reduces the body temperature which even makes body to work hard to increase the temperature. Whatever the case, increased rate of metabolism increases the oxygen demand. As can be seen from the above discussion, heat and humidity increase the demand for oxygen and the change in environmental conditions like the increased mold growth, altogether trigger the asthma attack. Humid air with more water content is heavier making it hard for the asthma patients to breathe.
It has been observed that people who remain in air-conditioned rooms for long time cannot cope up with external temperatures, and can become easily susceptible to asthma when exposed to extremes of temperatures. However, if the asthma symptoms are worse and cannot be controlled it is recommended to stay in air-conditioned rooms to gain control over the condition. Make sure to maintain a humidity level of 30-50 percent. It is highly dangerous for the asthmatic patients to remain in environments where the humidity levels are above 80 percent. The increasing environment pollution that increases the temperature is increasing the number of asthma cases.
Another theory that confirms the worse effect of humid air in asthma patients is that humid air reduces the amount of negative ions in the air that generally ease the process of breathing. Hence, it is recommended that asthmatic patients should purchase a humidifier that does not generate negative ions as they attach to the water molecules and generate positive ions that toughen the task of breathing.
Most of asthmatic patient consider moving away from worse climatic conditions, like moving from hot to humid climates and vice-versa helps to obtain relief from asthma symptoms. But the worst part is that even the hot air with increased mold growth irritates the air passages. Hence, the only solution to combat the effects of heat and humidity by asthmatic patients should be in strict medications. Under scheduled usage of medicines, the asthma patients can enjoy the sunny days playing outdoor games like football.
Apart from regular medications it is recommended to practice regular exercise to fight with asthma symptoms. However, the level of exercises should be kept to moderate to prevent exercise induced asthma. Regular practice of controlled physical activity trains your lungs to breathe appropriately. You can cope with asthma symptoms even in adverse conditions to some extent compared to those who do not practice regular exercise.
Weather and COPD - Thunderstorms linked to asthma attacks
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml