Extreme heat can worsen asthma - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Extreme heat can worsen asthma

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EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -- More than 25 million Americans suffer from the potentially fatal condition, asthma - which causes coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath.

And as temperatures rise and ozone alerts go out, many people with asthma will end up in the hospital.

That's because these conditions can set off attacks, leading not only to increased emergency room visits, but more deaths during this time of year.

Extreme dryness and high humidity require the body to work harder, making it more difficult to breathe. And humidity can bring on mold spores, which can also cause flare-ups.

Best ways to lessen the chances of an attack?

Stay indoors with the windows shut to avoid pollutants like smoke, dirt and gasses.

Stay in air conditioning.

Fans can actually blow allergens.

And when possible, avoid outdoor activity.

If time has to be spent outdoors- like for work- take breaks.

Stay hydrated.

Check the forecast and plan accordingly.

You can check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's rankings on air quality in a specific area.

Also, patients should have a plan in case of an asthma attack.

Experts say the best advice is to take medications regularly and have rescue medication on hand.

Doctors recommend for asthma patients to exercise in the early morning. That's because air quality is better in morning, and some allergens are less prevalent.

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