Poor Air Quality & Extreme Heat, Recipe for Breathing Troubles

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It's so hot in Huntsville, it will take your breath away--literally. A high temperature of 103 degrees Thursday paired with poor air quality is bad news for those with respiratory issues.

"It can be a volatile mix," says Huntsville Hospital Emergency Doctor Steven Werdehoff.

The air quality index remains below the unhealthy level, but still poses a danger to a wide variety of people according to Doctor Werdehoff.

"In particular the populations of asthmatics, COPD and bronchitis patients will be most susceptible, but also small children and the elderly can get irritation in their airways quickly."

Doctor Werdehoff says even those in good physical shape have to take proper precautions in extreme heat conditions.

"Particularly with exertion outside," Werdehoff says, "If you're going to exercise you want to do it indoors with this high heat and the high ozone levels we're seeing right now, especially if you're asthmatic or a COPD patient."

Werdehoff recommends those with known breathing troubles should avoid being outdoors altogether if at all possible especially if air quality worsens in the coming weeks.