Summer’s here and the temperature is rising, which makes living with a chronic lung condition a lot more difficult. Having pulmonary hypertension (PH) puts you at risk of serious complications such as heat stroke, dehydration and exhaustion. However, the Pulmonary Hypertension Associaton has some handy tips to make life more bearable during the summer months.
- Stay hydrated. It’s important to ensure you drink all of your allocated liquid allowance, but make wise choices about the drinks you choose. Water is best, or unsweetened fresh fruit juice. Try to avoid drinks which may make you feel more dehydrated such as caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
- Dress accordingly. Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics will help to keep you cooler over the next few months. A wide-brimmed hat will help keep the sun off your face and neck.
- Stay cool. If you have air-conditioning at home, now’s the time to use it. Fans will help, but not if the temperature rises above 90º. If you don’t have air-conditioning at home, consider spending the warmest hours of the day somewhere that does, such as the library or shopping mall. Cold, wet flannels and towels can also help keep you cool as will taking a cool bath or shower.
- Rest up. Don’t work or do anything physical during the hottest hours of the day.
- Wear sunscreen. Apply a high-factor sunscreen liberally to any exposed skin and be sure to reapply every couple of hours or after swimming or sweating heavily.
- Keep medications cool. Do not leave any medications in places where they’ll heat up, such as the car or near a window. Ice packs will be useful for people who take epoprostenol.
- Change dressings regularly. If you sweat a lot, you may find that you need to change your dressings more often.
- Consult your healthcare team. Talk to your doctor if you find you’re sweating excessively or have been feeling faint or dizzy in the heat.
Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.