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Impact of Chronic Air Conditioner usage on Pulmonary Function Tests using Computerised Spirometry in Healthy Males in Coimbatore.

Akilandeswari K, Sujatha B .


Background: Nowadays, Air conditioners are one of the most luxurious needs of human beings and their use has been increasing day by day. According to recent studies, inhalation of cold dry air leads to alteration in pulmonary functions. The present study was aimed at considering whether intensive use of air conditioner affected pulmonary functions.

 Materials and Method: 25 male subjects having age group of 18-25 years and using air conditioners for more than 6 months and for a minimum duration of 6 hours per day were selected for the study. 25 males of same age group who never use air conditioners were taken as control. In all the subjects,         computerized spirometric parameters were measured by SPIRO EXCEL. The parameters between both the groups were compared by applying unpaired ‘t’ test. P value less than 0.05 was taken as statistically significant.

  Results: There was statistically significant reduction in FVC(Forced Vital Capacity), FEV1(Forced Expiratory Volume in first second), FEV1/FVC Ratio, PEFR (Peak Expiratory Flow Rate), FEF25 (Forced Expiratory Flow at 25% of Forced Vital Capacity), FEF50 (Forced Expiratory Flow at 50% of Forced Vital Capacity), FEF25-75(Mid Expiratory Flow Rate), and MVV (Maximum Voluntary Ventilation) in air conditioner users as compared to that in non air conditioner users.

 Discussion: The decreased values of lung functions may indicate underlying lung dysfunction due to exposure to AC environment. Due to cold air inhalation, airway becomes hyper-responsive. Bronchoconstriction occurs and it increases  resistance of airways. The mechanism causing                          bronchoconstriction is vagal mediated nervous reflex. Cold dry air is inhaled through AC’s and hence the alterations in  pulmonary functions may be stimulated in AC users. The  results of present study are also indicating towards early stages of  airflow limitation

Conclusion: Intensive use of air conditioners may  predispose to respiratory disorders in the form of early small airway diseases.

 Keywords: Air conditioner users, Pulmonary function tests, Computerised Spirometer.

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