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    • #12411
      Brittany Foster

      Growing up with congenital heart disease, I was always advised against overexposure to the hot weather and warned about the effects of staying in the sun for too long. Despite the warning, summer was always my favorite time of year. All of my once positive feelings about the summertime sunshine have changed since I have had an increase in symptoms. Lately I have really been feeling the effects of my conditions, especially with the added stress from the weather.

      I have become more aware of the toll that the weather can take on the cardiovascular system and the lungs. Now, I experience an increase in symptoms in the summer months due to my heart condition and pulmonary hypertension.
      The hot summer weather comes with a list of challenges for those living with lung disease or heart disease. The most difficult symptoms for me to manage in the summer months are, increased fatigue, lack of energy and weakness, swelling and bloating, and difficulty breathing.

      I have talked with my doctors about coming up with ways to manage the symptoms to hopefully have some more energy. I want to be able to go to the beach and enjoy myself. I have to make sure to take a rest during the day, stay in the air conditioning when the humidity is high, take inhalers and steroids for breathing more frequently, use oxygen with all activity as directed, and take extra medication for fluid retention all while staying hydrated with plenty of fluids. Even with the extra treatments, summer still feels difficult !

      Have you noticed a difference in since the weather has been changing? What symptoms increase for you during the summer months? What do you do to help with symptoms?

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