Asthmatics take caution in extreme heat

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The extreme heat and high ozone are a double whammy for people with asthma. At Family Allergy and Asthma, doctors are warning patients about the risks of this deadly combo.  

Jessica Ball knows to keep her rescue inhaler handy at all times even though it has been a while since she has needed it. She remembered the time when an asthma flare sent her to the emergency room. "Scary, your throat feels like it's going to close and just everything feels like it's closing in on you," said Ball.

"Anytime you have an ozone alert day anybody with respiratory problems is at risk to have more problems," said Dr. James Sublett. "There is plenty of evidence that shows relationships to ozone alerts and pollution alerts, you have more emergency room visits and more respiratory deaths during that time period."

When the heat gets up to 104, the simple act of breathing can no longer help to keep the body cool. "Core body temperature 104 and above is considered heat stroke, so if your outside air is 104 degrees you can't lose heat in that environment," Sublett said.

He advised to drink plenty of fluids before you get thirsty. If you wait until you are excessively thirsty, the body may lose its ability to sweat causing heat stroke.

To avoid heat stroke, try to stay inside in the air conditioning as much as possible and avoid all outdoor exercise in this kind of heat.

Symptoms that need urgent care include shortness of breath and the inability to move air in or out and chest tightness.

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