Breathe Easier this Spring & Summer
Warm weather brings many changes – including to the air we breathe! Richard Samuel, MD, medical director for Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care, offers his advice to protect your respiratory and long-term health when the days heat up.
Q: HOW CAN SUMMERTIME AIR QUALITY AFFECT OUR HEALTH?
Dr. Samuel: Warm weather usually brings increased levels of pollution and airborne allergens, like pollen, which can irritate your airways and make it difficult to breathe. These changes can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and coughing. Children, older adults and those with allergies and asthma are especially sensitive to these environmental changes.
Q: HOW CAN WE REDUCE EXPOSURE TO AIRBORNE ALLERGENS AT HOME?
Dr. Samuel: Some easy ways to protect your home from allergens include vacuuming frequently and keeping windows closed. Cleaning surfaces to remove common allergens like pet dander, pollen and dust is also helpful. Showering at night can help wash away any allergens that have stuck to your hair and skin.
Q: ARE THERE OTHER TIPS TO PROTECT OUR HEALTH?
Dr. Samuel: Before going outside, check the UV and air quality index. This measures the strength of the sun’s radiation and the air quality. When levels are high, wear sunscreen, seek shade and limit outdoor physical activity during the warmest parts of the day.