Good use of air conditioning prevents respiratory diseases

Lack of maintenance in air conditioning filters, inadequate ventilation or sudden changes in temperature are problems that cause respiratory conditions and favor coronavirus infections, warned the pneumonology area of ​​the Hospital de Clínicas, located in Buenos Aires. “Air conditioners cool the air, remove moisture and tend to accumulate dust or other organic substances in the filters, which favors irritation, inflammation or infection of the respiratory tract,” said the head of the service, Ana Putruele.

He also argued that the most serious problems are related “to the germs accumulated in the dirty filters of the air conditioning when there is no proper maintenance.” Among these germs, the best known is the Legionellapneumophila bacteria, responsible for pneumonia that can be serious.

Other major air pollutants are the fungi Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus fumigatus, which cause rhinitis, asthma, pneumonia, or hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

“There are other frequent conditions caused by prolonged use of these devices: colds, laryngitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis, joy crisis, bronchospasm in asthmatic people and episodes of worsening COPD in more complex cases,” said the specialist in a statement from the center. of health.

Regarding the use of air conditioning, he assured that “the best devices to prevent COVID infections are those that work with the Hepa filter system, which are highly efficient and are often seen on airplanes.” For people who have air conditioners without Hepa, Putruele recommended “opening a window and cleaning the filters since this is a factor that favors covid infections.” “It is the thickest particles that have the greatest impact on infections (coughs, colds and sneezes),” he remarked.

Another problem with the incorrect use of air conditioning is related to sleep. “The ideal temperature for sleeping is between 24 and 25 degrees, a temperature that is comfortable for the body. When one sleeps with higher temperatures, our body tends to have awakenings due to discomfort or sweating, factors that contribute to superficial sleep and of poor quality, “said the pulmonologist and head of the Sleep Laboratory at the Clinicas Facundo Nogueira. The goal is to achieve a temperature of 24/25 degrees, since “with lower thermal marks you can feel cold and wake up several times,” added the specialist.

To avoid dryness in the environment, rooms where there are children should be ventilated frequently, at least one hour a day, and prevent the air from directly impacting minors. Another suggestion is the use of fans, in addition to avoiding sudden changes in temperature and staying hydrated.


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