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ADVANCE Perspective: Respiratory Views

More Than a Bunch of Hot Air

Published August 27, 2015 2:21 PM by ADVANCE for Respiratory Care & Sleep Medicine

This summer has been the hottest in history around the world, experts say. However, many may not realize the potential health risks high temperatures pose, especially lung health and to older Americans in particular.

In response, Dr. Marilyn Glassberg, MD, Director, Interstitial Lung Disease Program, University of Miami Health System, Miami, Fla., offers the following five tips for staying healthy in the heat the rest of this summer, and the signs and symptoms to watch for that can signify more serious lung diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis which is a rare, irreversible but treatable lung disease:

Go Green: Minimize exposure to outdoor pollution by avoiding congested areas in summer since ozone and pollutants can make spending time outdoors unhealthy.

Exercise Indoors: Continue your exercise regimen inside to maintain cardiorespiratory fitness and lung health.

SEE ALSO: Air is Unhealthy to Breathe in 40% of American Counties

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of liquids before you feel thirsty. Keep options such as Gatorade around, as too much water can lead to electrolyte imbalance.

Keep Safe: When engaging in activities like gardening and other yard work outside, choose safe products and wear a mask if needed. Avoid oil-based paints that release organic compounds and cleaning products that contain ammonia and bleach, which can negatively impact your lungs.

Breathe Easier: Know the warning signs and see a doctor. If you have a long-term cough or trouble breathing with little to no physical exertion, it could be more than the heat.

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