How can extreme cold harm the lungs? How can extreme cold harm the lungs?

How can extreme cold harm the lungs?

How can extreme cold harm the lungs?

During the cold winter months, people spend more time indoors to stay warm and avoid unpleasant health conditions, such as the flu or frostbite.

Although, according to experts, a little exposure to the cold may not be a bad thing, very low temperatures may negatively affect different parts of the body. This leads us to wonder whether temperatures below zero pose a danger to the lungs.

Can freezing temperatures freeze your lungs?

“Our body is doing its best to maintain our core temperature, around 37 degrees Celsius, and our lungs are confined within the chest cavity,” explains Dr. Ariane Chiari, a pulmonologist at the Mayo Clinic. “Unless your entire body is at risk, it shouldn't "The lungs are at risk."

He pointed out that cold, dry air can enter the lungs and cause irritation, leading to bronchospasm that can cause a feeling of tightness in the chest. The lungs themselves are unlikely to freeze.

You may feel discomfort or even a burning sensation from breathing in extremely cold temperatures, and this is common.

“Our bodies are very well designed to adapt to cold air,” Dr. Chiari explains. “There are many mechanisms that allow the air to be warmed and humidified before it actually reaches the lungs where gas exchange occurs.”

He continued: "What happens is that cold air is drier overall, and your body works to humidify that. And in the process, it can cause irritation in the bronchial tubes, which leads to a process called bronchospasm, where those airways narrow, and you get this Feeling short of breath."

Extreme cold air can be dangerous for anyone, but for those with chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the cold can make matters worse.

In the case of emphysema, for example, cold air can cause spasms in the bronchial tubes, making breathing more difficult.

"Patients with respiratory conditions, whether it's asthma, COPD, or other lung diseases, are more likely to have their symptoms worsen if they encounter cold winter conditions," explains Dr. Chiari. "The best thing they can do to protect themselves is to prepare. Whether it's Have an extra supply of their inhaler for a few days in case of an emergency, or provide an emergency generator for their medical equipment, such as ventilators, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, or oxygen concentrators.”

Dr. Chiari recommends that if you have to be outside, follow this breathing tip: "If you're going to inhale, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth is generally best. Your nose does a better job of humidifying and warming the air than your mouth." Adding, "Having a scarf around your nose and mouth, or a mask, while you're outdoors can help, because it can block some of that heat and humidity."

He continued: "Try to avoid exercising outside in cold weather if you suffer from asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or chronic lung disease."

A doctor reveals the danger of abdominal pain in children

Children's complaints of abdominal pain usually worry parents. There are many causes for this pain, so it is important to distinguish between acute cases that require immediate medical attention, and simple, fleeting cases.


In an interview with the newspaper "Izvestia", Dr. Kristina Mulyukova, a pediatrician, explains the cases that do not cause concern and the cases that require urgent medical care.

According to her, disturbing symptoms include sudden and obvious pain in any part of the abdomen, which may be accompanied by a high body temperature - more than 39 degrees, vomiting, the appearance of blood in the stool, or loss of consciousness.

She says: “These signs may indicate the entry of a foreign body into the child’s body, or various surgical diseases in the abdomen, such as appendicitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, volvulus, intestinal obstruction, and ovarian torsion in girls. Therefore, in such cases, a doctor must be consulted immediately and a car called.” Ambulance.

The doctor points out that in addition to emergency cases, other causes of pain appear at different ages. Children under one year of age may suffer from stomach pain due to age-related immaturity of the digestive system, causing intestinal colic, pain, difficulty defecating, and regurgitation. As a rule, all this disappears as the child grows.

“Children between the ages of 1 and 10 are often troubled by functional abdominal pain, which is associated with malnutrition, constipation, and increased sensitivity to intestinal distension due to gas,” she says.

According to her, emotional children may suffer from stomach pain due to stressful situations, when moving, changing group in kindergarten, or due to lack of parental attention. Children between the ages of 10 and 18 may suffer from abdominal pain due to irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, known by its abbreviated name GERD. Girls, in turn, may feel discomfort in the abdominal area due to menstruation.

She says: “We must know that all children suffer from abdominal pain not only due to acute intestinal infections, but also due to urinary tract infections, such as pyelonephritis or cystitis, and gallbladder and pancreas diseases, although they are very rare in children, because the child’s body "He's still young."

The doctor points out that one of the characteristics of childhood is enlarged lymph nodes during or after recovery from viral infections. They can be felt in the neck, but can also swell in the abdomen (lymph nodes are mainly located around the stomach). However, inflation cannot be determined visually, but the child’s complaint of intermittent, short-term, dull abdominal pain may indicate this.

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