During summer, intense heat can be difficult to tolerate, especially in urban areas. Air conditioning can thus be useful to make a more pleasant atmosphere in our homes, if it is used right. Air conditioning can be linked to certain pathologies (for the most part benign, but some potentially serious). It’s therefore necessary to take certain precautions.
1. Avoid extreme changes in temperature.
Ideally, your body should not undergo changes of temperature greater than 8°C between indoor and outdoor temperatures. Greater changes in temperature can result in feeling ill with sore throats, nasal drip, headaches, dry eyes and muscle cramps. And if the change in temperature is too great, there is even a risk of thermal shock, which can lead to loss of consciousness and, in the most serious cases, respiratory arrest. Keep a careful eye on the temperature of your air conditioner to respect a difference of no more than 5 to 8 degrees with the exterior, as recommended. You will avoid several unpleasant symptoms and do something good for the environment.
Plus, consider keeping a sweater or a scarf in your car or your office to cover up. That will prevent you from being too chilled and feeling the effects of the outside-inside temperature change too greatly.
2. Stay away from cold drafts.
Sleeping in direct contact with air conditioning is the best way to wake up with an awful sore throat or painful crick in the neck. Exposed to the cold air, your neck may, for example, get stiff and lead to significant muscular contractions. It’s best to avoid exposing yourself directly to cold air. If you do not have central air conditioning, it is preferable to place your air conditioning unit (window unit or portable) in a room that is adjacent to the bedroom. If that is not possible, you can also refresh the room during the day and turn your machine off at night. Don’t forget to apply the same rule when you’re in your car. Avoid aiming the airflow directly at yourself.
3. Maintain your air conditioner on a regular basis.
Often, health problems linked to air conditioning are due to poor maintenance of the machines. A simple way to prevent respiratory illnesses related to air conditioning, from the most benign such as allergies, to the more serious ones such as legionnaires’ disease (legionellosis) is to respect a rigorous maintenance of the installation (filters, conduits, etc.). Certain infectious agents, such as legionellosis bacteria, can proliferate on the insides of air conditioning systems. Follow your air conditioner’s maintenance tips attentively or refer to a professional who will be able to clean your equipment.
Talk to your pharmacist
If you need help fighting the summer heat, don’t hesitate to talk to your Brunet-affiliated pharmacist. Thanks to their precious advice, you’ll be able to enjoy the summer while reducing the risks associated with heat waves.
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