SoCal heat wave may aggravate respiratory issues

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Hot and humid conditions are expected to continue through the weekend across Southern California, which may pose difficulties for those with respiratory issues. (KABC)

Hot and humid conditions are expected to continue through the weekend across Southern California, which may pose difficulties for those with respiratory issues.

Changes in temperature or humidity can be non-allergic triggers for asthma. They can cause changes and irritation in the upper and lower respiratory tract and may aggravate an underlying health condition.

"It feels like a couple of bricks are on your chest," said Arlene Plotkin, who suffers from asthma.

When hot temperatures and sunlight combine with air pollutants, it creates ground-level ozone that can affect people with asthma, COPD and other respiratory issues.

"You see more sinus complaints, more headaches and people with asthma see increases in coughs and wheezing," Dr. Jacob Offenberger said.

Doctors advise people to stay indoors, keep the windows shut and run air conditioning. The same should be done in cars with the air on recycle.

For added protection, young asthma patients should use rescue inhalers 30 minutes prior to playing sports outside.

"The more important (thing) is to continue to take your regular medication and when you go to work carry your rescue inhaler," Offenberger said.

Plotkin went to her doctor to avoid getting worse. After the appointment, she and her airways headed for cover.

"I'm going to go home," she laughs.

Related Topics:
healthweatherheat waveasthmahealthy living
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