Breathing Problems: How an Emergency Room Can Protect Your Lungs in Hot Weather

Man with breathing problems assisted by emergency care staff

Summertime symbolizes unwinding and enjoying the outdoors with friends and family. You can participate in many fun activities, making your summer enjoyable. However, the hot summer weather can be a testing time for some people.

Managing the hot and humid air could be daunting for some people, especially if they live in coastal locations. Moreover, you must stay hydrated if you don’t want to find yourself in our emergency room in Abilene.

Did you know that the hot and humid weather can cause breathing problems in some people? It can affect you if you have certain respiratory issues, such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Summer weather can aggravate any lung conditions that you may have and pile on to the discomfort. Before we check out how we can help at our ER, let’s understand the link between hot weather and your lungs.

How Hot Weather Affects Lungs

Thinking that hot weather can affect the lungs is counterintuitive. However, some people can attest to this fact. So, how does it happen? What’s the link? Hot weather affects your lungs in the following ways:

  • Your body works much harder to maintain normal body temperature during summer or in hot weather. It also means that your body will need more oxygen. If you live in an urban area with pollution, the problem will be compounded, and your body will require more oxygen. So, if you have a pre-existing lung condition, such as COPD, this can cause heavy or rapid breathing.
  • Heat can trigger some plant or tree species to release pollen; the increased humidity levels can cause mold formation on plants or surfaces. Pollen and mold are notorious lung and nasal irritants that can trigger wheezing or coughing in people with respiratory conditions.
  • At times, even though you do not have a pre-existing lung condition, breathing in hot air can cause inflammation and constriction in your upper airways. If this happens, you will experience shortness of breath since you will not have enough oxygen entering the lungs.
  • Hot air holds more water, so the air becomes more humid. Therefore, the air has lesser oxygen than water making it dense. People with upper respiratory conditions will have difficulty breathing if the air is dense.
  • When the surrounding air is very hot, it traps various gases, pollutants, etc. These substances irritate the nasal cavity causing breathing difficulties in people with lung conditions.
  • When hot air enters the nasal cavity, it can activate the thermal sensors in your nerves in the airways and voice box, which leads to irritation and coughing if you have allergic rhinitis.
  • Hot weather causes people to sweat much more and lose water in all body parts, including the lungs, bronchial tubes, and nasal cavities, leading to shortness of breath.

How An Emergency Room Can Help In Breathing Problems

Breathing problems are no fun and can turn a wonderful afternoon into a nightmare. These problems will vary in severity from shortness of breath to gasping for air. In most cases, breathing problems need medical assistance from our emergency room in Abilene. If you notice any of the following signs of breathing problems in summer, visit our ER:

  • Confusion
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Feeling anxious
  • Dizziness
  • Discomfort when breathing
  • Exhaustion
  • Struggling to breathe or gasping for air
  • Increased difficulty breathing when lying down
  • Wheezing
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Coughing

When you visit us, our staff will examine you to determine the underlying cause of your breathing difficulty. However, you will receive extra oxygen, known as oxygen therapy. You can receive the oxygen via a windpipe, nose, or mask placed over your mouth and nose to help deliver oxygen into your lungs.

Our medical practitioners will check your oxygen levels to ensure your body is getting enough before diagnosing the primary cause of your shortness of breath. You could have difficulty breathing in hot weather or a pre-existing condition that has flared up.

You must answer questions about your health history and how you feel. You can also expect imaging tests to check the state of your lungs.

The treatment is dependent on the findings of the examination will be. Contact us at Express Emergency Room in Abilene whenever you have a breathing problem in the summer.

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