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Dry, hot weather can aggravate dry coughs and rhinitis

HSPE experts provide tips to mitigate the effects of low air humidity

According to information from Climatempo, the heat wave that has hit some regions of the country since last week is expected to last at least until the end of this week. Consequently, health conditions such as rhinitis and dry cough should generate alert among the population.

A bulletin released by the National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet) underlines that for the Central-West and South-East regions, high temperatures and dry weather are expected in most of the two regions. In São Paulo, air humidity varies between 20% and 30% during the day, a value considered critical. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers values ​​between 50% and 60% to be adequate for health.

“Higher than average temperatures contribute to accentuating low humidity and consequently increasing the concentration of pollutants in the air, causing irritation of the respiratory tract and dry cough”explains the doctor Mary True Crosspulmonologist at the Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual (HSPE).

Dry cough

Dry cough is a defense mechanism of the respiratory system in which the lung cilia expel various particles present in the airways. When the manifestation does not improve after a few weeks it can be considered persistent.

There are many hypotheses about the causes of a persistent dry cough, but only a doctor can make a diagnosis and recommend adequate treatment, since a prolonged dry cough is a symptom. It can have various causes, the most common are allergies, asthma, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux, respiratory lung infections and the body’s response to environmental conditions.

Check out some guidelines that can bring benefits:

  • Hydrate frequently;
  • People being treated for respiratory problems must correctly follow medical indications and prescriptions;
  • Keep environments clean to minimize the presence of dust and mites;
  • Ventilate the house and enclosed spaces daily;
  • Leave water in containers or buckets in the environment. Wet towels can also help.

Children and the elderly need more attention. In the first group, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, dizziness, dehydrated eyes and lips are common, while problems with dehydration and hypotension may occur in the elderly.


Another problem that can occur in these weather conditions is rhinitis, an inflammatory condition of the nose that can be caused by allergies or viral infections. “Symptoms include stuffy nose, itchy nose, runny nose, and sneezing. Allergic rhinitis can be treated with saline nasal washing, antihistamines recommended by a doctor, and environmental allergen control.”explains Andrea Almeida, infectious disease specialist at HSPE. She adds that viral rhinitis usually goes away on its own within a few days.

Experts recommend that if a persistent dry cough or other symptoms compromise the patient’s well-being, it is important to seek medical help. In case of worsening of the condition, such as the presence of fever, change in the color of the mucus and muscle pain, seeking a professional should be carried out as quickly as possible, remembering that the use of drugs should not be carried out without the advice of the doctor .

Source: SP Government

Source: Terra

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