Health Zone : Dangerous Effects Of Too Much Air Conditioning You Should Know About

Since the invention of the air conditioner, people find it hard to get by without owning one, especially with the drastic heat that comes along with climate change. Surviving summer is almost impossible without the aid of air conditioning.

However, if you rely on it for long periods of time, you must be prepared for the damaging effects it can cause. These effects could be anything from annoying to potentially risky. Keep an eye out for headaches, lethargy, dehydration, and allergies.Upper respiratory problems or even spread infections like Legionnaires’ disease may be due to air-conditioned spaces.

Air conditioning can be good, but there are some problems with living so much in artificially controlled environments.

Lethargy :

Research has indicated that there can be occurrences of unexplained sluggishness in people who have air conditioners in their homes or offices. This will often occur in environments where the air-conditioning is set at a very low-temperature. Try to get out of the air conditioning regularly and consider setting it at a higher temperature level if you experience this.

Dehydration :

Air conditioning systems will dry out the air. The air in the room passes over the condenser which will cool it down. As it cools down, the water vapour in the air also cools and forms water droplets. This water accumulates on the condenser and then is allowed to flow outside from the system. This is great if you live in an environment with high humidity and want to reduce the level of moisture in the air. But if you spend a lot of time in dry air it can also have the potential to dry you out as well.

We are constantly losing moisture to the environment around us as part of normal physiological functions. Also, if you are in a cool environment you may not feel the same urge to replenish your fluid levels. If we do not regularly drink fluids to replace the water we are losing, then we will become dehydrated. Dehydration has the potential to cause a range of problems including headaches, tiredness, dry lips, dry skin, and feeling light headed.

Dry Or Itchy Skin :

If people spend a lot of time in an air conditioned environment, they may find that certain symptoms can develop. This may include dryness of the skin and itchy skin. Often skin dryness can be associated with dehydration, but it can also be attributed to other factors. One possible cause can be a response to contaminants in the air of a building. These may not be obvious and may be caused the air conditioning system not functioning as well as it should be, or the air not being replenished regularly and allowing volatile chemicals to build up. Itchy skin problems are often attributed to this as well as chemical sensitivity.

This problem can occur in any enclosed environment where there is insufficient air flow and air is not regularly replaced. In some instances, these symptoms may be part of a group of symptoms that could relate to sick building syndrome. It is important that air conditioning systems are properly designed and installed and that air filters are working. It is also vital that the air in air conditioned environments can be regularly replaced and the chemical filled air removed.

Headaches :

Headaches can be a common issue with people who spend a lot of time in air conditioning. As the environment tends to be dry, people can experience dehydration. When the fluid levels in the body are below optimal levels, the brain can temporarily contract or shrink as a consequence, triggering a pain response in the membrane surrounding the brain. There is also the possibility of dehydration causing a reduced blood flow to the brain that can then cause a reaction.

Other impacts caused by dehydration may be impairment of the ability to concentrate and increased levels of irritation. Dehydration headaches have also been shown to be a potential precursor for migraines, and it has been suggested that dehydration may prolong the period of a migraine attack. Hydrating regularly with water or herb teas will ensure that you do not become dehydrated.

Another potential cause for headaches is air quality. Air conditioning systems rely on filters to ensure air quality is at a suitable standard. If these filters are not regularly cleaned properly, there will be issues with air quality. In addition, if the air conditioning system is run in an enclosed space without the air being refreshed regularly, there will be a build up of volatile chemicals from manufactured items such as carpets, furniture, and paints, as well as fumes from cleaning products. These chemicals are harmful and can trigger a response. It has been estimated that there are over 700 chemicals that are able to cause headaches. Some people may also experience chemical sensitivity that will cause more intense responses as well as other symptoms such as mild nausea, a runny nose, and sore throat.

Ensuring there is suitable air flow and that air is regularly refreshed should reduce the opportunity for this to occur.

Respiratory Issues :

People who are spending a substantial amount of their time in air-conditioned spaces tend to experience more upper respiratory symptoms, particularly in their nose and throat, when compared to people who have less time in air-conditioned spaces. These symptoms will usually include nasal blockages, dry throat, or rhinitis. Rhinitis is when the mucous membrane inside the nose is irritated and inflamed. Symptoms of rhinitis can include sneezing, a runny nose, and the build up of excessive mucous in the back of the nose and throat.

As air conditioned air can become very dry, this may lead to dryness and irritation of the throat membranes that creates an environment in which pharyngitis can occur. Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the area at the back of the throat that will often cause pain and make it difficult to swallow. It is a common cause for people to take time off work.

Infectious Diseases :

The irritation of mucous membranes, combined with the dry air conditioned air, can lead to your mucous drying out. Mucous acts as a protective layer that is able to keep out viruses and bacteria. This can make you more vulnerable. There is also a very dangerous, and potentially deadly, bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease and thrives in large air conditioning units. It has caused multiple deaths in many cities, including Melbourne, where large air conditioning units are used to cool buildings.

Allergies and Asthma :

There are a range of indoor air triggers for asthma. If the filters in an air conditioner are regularly cleaned and the unit is functioning correctly, it can help reduce the number of allergens in the air. However, if a person spends extensive time indoors they will be exposed to a range of potential triggers, including dust mites and chemicals.

With the moisture that can accumulate in an air conditioning unit, there is potential for the growth of mould, and the spores can be spread by the air flowing through the unit. This can set off allergic reactions in many people or even trigger an asthma attack.

Car air conditioning units are the worst offenders for circulating dust, mould, and diseases. Research found that there are multiple types of mould growing in the majority of cars. There can also be the issue from the fumes of vehicles nearby that are also running their air conditioning units when parked.

Acclimatisation to Cold Air :

By having the air conditioner at cooler temperatures constantly, you become used to this temperature. This means that when you need to do something outside in the real air temperature your body can become very stressed. There have even been deaths on days with high temperatures.

You will also find that your body struggles with the adjustment from cold to hot then back to cold environments. It is best to try to keep your air conditioning at a reasonable temperature so that you do not experience too much of a temperature differential.

About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298.

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