Tips to Help You Weather the Elements
You’ll have to pay close attention to the weather for the good of your lungs, and sometimes that means you shouldn’t interact with the great outdoors. But it’s not always a good idea to shut yourself up inside, especially is your indoor space isn’t quite as clean and clear as you would hope.
Get a handle on when to stay in, when to venture out, and how to counteract some of the discomforts that are impossible to avoid.
Perfect Your Timing
If weather alerts are on, it’s best to stay inside, where you know the air is more comfortable to breathe. When you need to step out, you should plan around the early to late afternoon; mornings and evenings are generally cooler, and the air quality is often at its best.
In winter, it’s a good idea to wait until the wind dies down, since a brisk breeze can challenge your airways as much as a fluctuation in temperature. Wrap a scarf around your face, and try to breathe through your nose to avoid shocking your airways.
Control Your Humidity
Air purifiers can help rid the air of all sorts of irritants, but a simple dehumidifier (or humidifier) may be all you need to breathe better at home. This is especially important when you live in a changeable climate, where severe winters and humid summers can send your humidity levels up and down.
Whichever model you choose, be sure to clean it regularly – as particles build up on the filter, and old water is left to sit in the reservoir, your device won’t work as well (and might become a breeding ground for more irritants).
Turn up Your Air Conditioner
Cooler, drier air in your home can fight the effects of heavy humidity, but running an air conditioner also means that the windows and doors stay shut. Not only will this reduce the chances of mold spores and dust mites multiplying, you’ll also limit the amount of outdoor irritants that make their way into your indoor space.
Not too long ago, doctors would often recommend a cross-country move for better breathing, but most experts today agree that the solution is not that simple. The fact that weather impacts lung disease is undeniable, but the way it affects each person’s COPD can differ.
It’s important that, above all else, you listen to your body and note how it your lungs react to various changes. Keeping track in a COPD journal may illuminate some triggers or potential sources of relief that you had not thought of before.