WILDFIRES EFFECTS ON BREATHING

SEPTEMBER 4, 2012

“The decrease in ambient air quality associated with the wildfires in our mountains has brought on runny noses, coughing and eye irritation in many people in our community,” says Anders Persson, PHD, MD, of Bozeman Deaconess Pulmonary Disease/Critical Care. “The smoke can induce bronchospasm in people with asthma or COPD, making it more difficult to breathe and sometimes requiring additional doses of medications to improve breathing.  For those people who respond to the smoke with bronchospasm, it is advisable to avoid exertion in the smoky air, and if exercising to seek an exercise environment with better quality air.  It is recommended to stay indoors on when the air quality is especially poor.“

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PULMONARY EXERCISE TESTING

Measuring the body’s response to exercise unveils the fingerprint of an individual’s underlying health and disease. From these data, one can gain insight into a subject’s inherent athleticism, state of training, potential rehabilitation, and/or severity of heart, lung, or muscle disease. In other words, making accurate measurements and being able to interpret them are relevant to athletes, 'weekend warriors' and patients.

Using computerized cardiopulmonary exercise system that makes precise, instantaneous measurements during exercise, the physician can make breath-by-breath measurements of metabolic responses, for example, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, minute ventilation, ventilatory pattern, ventilatory efficiency, anaerobic or ventilatory threshold while at the same time make measurements of cardiac response (EKG, blood pressure, etc.) identical to the stress test administered by cardiologists.

This testing looks at the whole chain of events of oxygen delivery to the muscle.
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