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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Effect of Atmosphere Changes Has on COPD

12/14/2009

Question:

I would like to know if atmosphere changes, weather highs or lows, have any effect on lung status. There are times I am doing very well, use oxygen at night, when exercising but when resting, do not need. Other times, my body tells me I need oxygen 24/7. Is there a relationship between atmosphere changes and oxygen need..... Thank you..

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness and for your question. It is recognized that changes in barometric pressure and temperature can affect respiratory symptoms for people with COPD and asthma. However, there has been only one study reporting the effects of changes in meteorological conditions on respiratory symptoms in COPD. This was published by Mann and colleagues in CHEST in 1993, and the authors concluded that rising barometric pressures at times correlated with worsening symptoms. Others have noted that symptoms may increase when the barometric pressure falls, because the partial pressure of oxygen in the air drops a very small amount when this occurs. Changes in barometric pressure and temperature also affect air quality, which contributes to symptoms in COPD.

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Response by:

Michael E Ezzie, MD Michael E Ezzie, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University