High or low humidity levels can have an effect on COPD patients symptoms and can even lead to acute exacerbations.
Humidity can exacerbate COPD symptoms. High humidity levels may exacerbate symptoms for a variety of reasons. The body must work harder to breathe when humidity levels are high, especially when the air is hot.
Very low humidity levels can also trigger or worsen symptoms of COPD. Dry air, especially if it is cold, can cause the airways to narrow, in an effect called a bronchospasm.
Researchers offer the following tips to reduce the effects of humidity on COPD symptoms:
- Be aware of outdoor humidity levels
- Limit outdoor activity when humidity is high
- Slow down (don’t overexert)
- Drink plenty of water
- Control indoor humidity levels