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The Dry Air and Respiratory Diseases

16 de agosto de 2011

Low humidity and dry air in Respiratory Diseases

Dry air and Respiratory Diseases

The relative humidity must be between 30 and 60%. In the winter there are regions that suffer the most in Brazil and also in USA, as the Midwest, Southeast and Southern where there is both dry air and low humidity. The rain of course is an air purification natural system. With its absence or the decrease in rainfall a worsening environmental conditions happens because of thermal inversion phenomena. And this fact concomitantly increases the risk for respiratory diseases.
The non-allergic people tend to tolerate these factors a little better, but still have the nose can dry, severely dry skin, nosebleeds and eventually make what are known as epistaxis.
However, the main risk group, in fact, is formed by people with chronic respiratory diseases and patients with atopy (allergies) because the dry air irritates the lining of the airways, ie, nose, sinuses, throat and lungs that culminated with respiratory tract infections such as otitis, pharyngitis, tracheitis and pneumonia that can even become a hazard, leading to hospitalization and even death (especially if confusion or delay in diagnosis.)
Among the major respiratory diseases are chronic carriers of pulmonary emphysema and chronic bronchitis (COPD) patients with asthma and patients with chronic sinusitis and rhinitis.

It is characteristically a disease of the lower airways or the lungs. It can be contagious, but in general, pneumonia is not contagious or transmissible. Some bacteria, especially Streptococcus pneumoniae, may for reasons of stress, or after or by viral infection, to overcome the body’s defenses and settle in the lungs, causing pneumonia. Today there are several antibiotics available that are quite effective for outpatient treatment. In some circumstances however, given the increased risk of death is required hospital treatment.
The most characteristic sign of pneumonia are high fever (above 38 ° C) and can be associated with cough, chest pain, and phlegm (sputum) presence. Pneumonia can occur without fever, although these cases are more associated with patients with some level of immunosuppression, such as diabetes mellitus, heart failure, patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and in patients undergoing cancer treatment.

Care to be taken with Respiratory patients

• Refrain from exercise at times of lower relative humidity and higher concentration of pollutants takes place between 10 am and 4 pm;
• Increase fluid intake (water) is essential;
• Moistening the mucosa of the eyes and nose with 0,9% saline solution, especially children, the elderly and people with respiratory diseases such as bronchial asthma and pulmonary emphysema (which officially is called COPD);
• Even with the cold, keep the sites fresh and humidified if possible with the use of humidifiers, or using wet towels in the bedroom or in environments where you will stay for long.
• Allergic patients or with chronic respiratory disease should take extra care with the relative humidity;
• For those with allergies it is essential to follow the guidance of their doctor and take treatment. There is still a large proportion of patients who have asthma or rhinitis who unfortunately think they should only treat when they are in crisis. However, the medical advisor of PULMAOSA, Dr. Marcos Nascimento explains that these diseases are chronic and need  a continous treatment and also a continuous follow up with an allergist, an otolaryngologist or a pulmonologist. This is essential to decrease the problems with these patients, complement Dr. Nascimento.
• Dr. Marcos Nascimento also warning that while humidifiers can be useful, they can actually make you sick if they aren’t maintained properly or if humidity levels stay too high. If you do use humidifiers, play it safe: Monitor humidity levels and keep your humidifier clean — dirty humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria that can make you sick. So, If you have allergies or asthma, talk to your doctor before using a humidifier;

•  Maintain a clean and dust free environment, and to care for clothes that are stored too long is also important. Try to wash their clothes and expose them to sunlight before use. This favors the elimination of mites and fungi that annoy and may trigger a crisis of rhinitis or asthma.
• Prevent infections like flu, pharyngitis, sinusitis and pneumonia caused by pneumococcus causing the use of influenza vaccine (flu vaccine) and pneumococcal vaccine (heptavalent, decavalente 13valente and for children under 2 years old and for over 2 years old and adults Pneumo-23);
• Consult your physician if you have doubts.


PulmaoSA – its atmosphere, Your Life!
SBPT – Brazilian Thoracic Society;

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