Cold Air Training Increases Respiratory Illnesses Among Athletes
Science Daily says an alarming proportion of athletes with rigorous cold-air training end up having problems with their breathing.
Virologists investigating transmission say the cold dry weather conditions pull moisture out of droplets released by coughs and sneezes, which allows the virus to linger in the air making viral contamination worse in the winter.
The lung experts warn against undertaking winter endurance training as nasal passages dry out making transmission more likely. Vulnerable lungs are subject to viral related respiratory infections triggered by the H1N1 swine flu virus or other respiratory illnesses.
International Cases of Respiratory Illnesses on the Rise
The H1N1 influenza pandemic and the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics bring the issue to the fore, especially as Eastern European and the former Soviet Union nations appear particularly vulnerable to a new black lung virus surfacing in the Ukraine.
According to Ukranian government statistics, 1.5 million of its 46 million people have been diagnosed with the new flu and related respiratory sicknesses since the start of the outbreak.
In scientific studies conducted by the Olympic Committee of Colorado (USA), a quarter of the athletes on the American team suffered from spasmodic contractions of the bronchi (bronchospasms) especially cross-country skiers.
Physical activity is more likely to cause asthmatic illnesses in winter because cold air is saturated with vapor causing water and heat loss occurs through heavier breathing.
In a temperate environment of 27° Celsius the air breathed by an athlete undergoing intensive training is gently warmed as it enters the airways, but when ice-cold air is breathed in the air inhaled airways become inflamed.
Vaccines, Face Masks & Steroid Remedies
Designer face masks that cover the nose and mouth may help the way surgical masks are designed to protect against airborne contaminants. Air exhaled at a temperature of 37°C enters a hollow metal grid where it can be warmed, reducing vulnerability from foreign contagens.
Other solutions may include anti-viral vaccinations supplemented with an inclusive anti-inflammatory prophylactic drug treatment, the same steroid-based remedies often given to asthmatics. The steroid may effectively block the bronchial constriction and the vaccine may prevent the onset of severe respiratory flu symptoms.
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