Heat and Humidity … Friend or Foe? - CAIRE Inc.
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Contributed by Bob Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc.~ 

Many love the heat and humidity. Especially if you live by or on a beach, or any water for that matter. When I was of the younger age it didn’t bother me as much either.

It meant playing baseball, water skiing, pool swimming, and more outdoor activities. Living on the Jersey Shore as a kid, it was great for crabbing in the evening. Using some raw chicken in crab cages, walking down the street to the docks under a moonlit night was the best. Even if I was still sweating my butt off in 80 degree heat with 90 percent humidity. LOL

We always talk about what it does to our bodies, which we should be aware of, but I found some other interesting things about what it can do to your home as well.

I came across this excellent article from Home Climates.

An excerpt from Tips for Controlling Your Home’s Humidity

“Dealing with excessive humidity is not comfortable or fun. It’s even worse when there are higher humidity and moisture levels in your home. It can often feel warm, sticky, and plain gross. But there’s more danger behind it than just feeling bad. Higher humidity and moisture levels can be an extreme threat to your property, including the structure, surfaces, and condition. Did you know, for instance, that excessive moisture can damage wood, paint, insulation, and siding? What about the fact that it’s highly susceptible to allergens and pollutants like dust mites, mold, and mildew? All those things can cause severe problems for your lungs, even more so if you suffer from allergies, asthma, and existing pulmonary ailments. Energy Star states that ideal indoor humidity levels are between 30 and 50%. It’s in your best interest to follow that recommendation. Keeping humidity levels inside your home manageable will improve your comfort, but it will also improve the air quality and reliability of your home.” Click the link to read more.

The biggest thing I got was “Improve the air quality.” This is a must read.

We will feel drained and tired for sure but it’s important to do all you can to help you feel better and understand your air quality and if necessary, improve it.

Whether you are on a chronic lung disease journey or not, heat and humidity affect everyone.

Doctors will tell us to pay attention to those extreme temperatures and humidity, because it does lots of things to us and none are all that good.

Honestly, those of us on this lung disease journey should pay close attention to what our body is telling us.

A blog post, published by a Mayo Clinic Volunteer Mentor, I definitely could relate to.

An excerpt from High Humidity and Lung Health for all breathing problems

“Here are some warning signs that there is too much humidity in the air for you: Warning signs differ with everyone but there are some universal ones: Trouble breathing — Having to use my chest muscles to help me breathe, more gurgling (wheezing) in my throat, worse coughing , skin color change (more bluish around the mouth) or if you have trouble doing anything (time for either an AC or call 911), swollen ankles or fever. The best things to do for yourself is to get air conditioning for your house, or even one room where you spend the most time in. Make sure that you have your rescue inhaler available or anything else that you can use. Make sure that your clothing isn’t constricting and drink water- lots of it. Try and eat light meals and eat fruit if you can, to help with energy. Without hesitation, please call 911 if you are in any distress. Ambulances and firemen/women are trained to respond, and you are not “bothering” them. This is their job, volunteer or not. They chose to do this, so you are not putting them out. And you can cancel them if things straighten out before they arrive. High humidity is when there is more water (in any form) in the air than not. We aren’t meant to breathe water, so we don’t get enough oxygen. Our lungs’ function is to help our bodies stay in balance and help with cooling. If we don’t have enough oxygen, then we can’t cool our bodies and can get heat stroke from that. And the more our bodies need to work to do this hence the more tired we become too. Not a great situation.” Click the link to read more.

Some of the things I’ve done while on my journey during these hot and humid days:

  • Stay in air-conditioned places. Cool the car down before you get in it.
  • Buy an insulated cup or jug. I always have one filled with water or Crystal Light, even indoors. Humidity indoors can also be tough to deal with. Staying hydrated is key.
  • On longer trips, always pack a small cooler.
  • Check out the cooling towels at a sporting goods store. If you have to be outside, it is great to have around your neck to keep the body temperature down.
  • Run a fan in your room at night even when the air conditioning is on. This circulates the cool air continuously.
  • Pack fans to use on vacation in your bedroom or family rooms. It keeps the body temperature regular. In the winter you can always turn it down or off. But good circulated air can really help, I’ve found.

Friends all of these tips were important before my double lung transplant, but I still practice these same habits post-transplant today.

Don’t mess with the heat, my friends!!! It can really play havoc on your breathing!

Till next time,

#Stay

#laugheveryday

#smileatsomeone

#Touchaheart

#breathe-easy

Love you all,

Coach Bob

Bob Rawlins, 64, of Medina, Ohio, is a double lung transplant recipient and a patient advocate for those who suffer from respiratory diseases and have been prescribed supplemental oxygen therapy. He is husband to Terese and father to their 17-year-old triplets. He also has two grown twin sons and four grandchildren. He serves as a hospital volunteer, band dad and chaperone, and marketing guru. 

If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE by visiting www.caireinc.com/patients or by calling  1-800-482-2473 to talk to an oxygen advisor.

The contents of this blog post are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.

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