Lung Association Offers Tips to Protect Lungs During Extraordinary Heat Season

With temperatures rising across Arizona and throughout the country, following these tips to protect lung health can help save lives.

Extreme weather conditions, including the current heatwave throughout much of Arizona, can make breathing more difficult, especially for those living with lung disease. As temperatures have been above the 100° mark for 30 straight days, and continued effects of climate change are apparent throughout the country, the American Lung Association in Arizona offers these simple steps to protect lung health during extreme heat:

Tips to Protect Lung Health During Extreme Heat:

•    Monitor air quality. Air pollution can be very high during summer and other extreme heat periods. Those with asthma and other lung diseases are at higher risk of being negatively impacted by air pollution during these times.
•    Do not exercise outdoors during extreme heat. It’s not just uncomfortable, it can be deadly.
•    Take steps to keep your body cool.

o    Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

o    Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.

o    If you do not have working A/C in your home, locate air-conditioned spaces such as shopping malls and stay there during the late afternoon when temperatures are highest. Many areas offer cooling centers at libraries, community centers, or other public buildings. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you return home.

o    Electric fans may lend a false sense of comfort when temperatures reach 95 degrees or higher due to              creating air flow, but not reducing body temperature. This could increase your risk of heat-related                      illness. Instead, take a cool shower or bath to cool your body temperature.

•    Keep your medications with you. It is important for those  with chronic lung diseases such as COPD and asthma to always keep quick-relief medications with them and to follow their asthma or COPD action plan. If you know extreme weather is coming, make sure you have enough medication on hand to last a few days and contact your healthcare provider if your symptoms do not improve or become worrisome.
•    Ask for help. The American Lung Association Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA is staffed by nurses and respiratory therapists and is a free resource to answer any questions about lung health – including how to protect yourself during extreme heat.
•    Help others. Check on elderly and vulnerable neighbors frequently to ensure their homes are safely cooled and vented.

For more information and to get involved, visit Lung.org/disaster.

For more information, contact:

Arizona Media Contact

[email protected]

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