COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

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COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby aja8888 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:22 pm

Currently, my wife is suffering from this disease and on large doses of meds, breathing treatments, etc. We live in Houston, Texas and that climate is heavy in pollution, pollen, humidity and I'm sure some things I have not mentioned. She has been hospitalized twice in the last year, and recently when an "episode" caused her to pretty much stop breathing. We understand, through 'net research, that other climates are better for managing your life if you suffer from COPD.

While the California coast (dry climate) is out (financially) as a place to relocate to, do the readers here have any suggestions as to where might be a better and affordable location to move to to alleviate her propensity to have COPD problems? She is retired and on Medicare with ample supplemental insurance. Being near a medical facility is an important factor. I still work, but my job is portable. We are also considering downsizing our house needs to about 1500 square feet (empty nesters).

Thanks, Tony
Last edited by aja8888 on Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby gkaplan » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:39 pm

Baltimore?
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby fishnskiguy » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:55 pm

Why are dry climate areas out financially? There are many very affordable areas in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby Ice-9 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:57 pm

You may have already seen this, but a couple affordable places in your general region of the Country made it in the top 5 for COPD:
http://copddigest.org/read/116/Top+5+Pl ... +with+COPD
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby aja8888 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:52 pm

fishnskiguy wrote:Why are dry climate areas out financially? There are many very affordable areas in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Chris


Woops! edited my post. I just meant California and its dry climate, not all dry climates. We can't afford to move back there anymore. :(
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby aja8888 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:54 pm

Ice-9 wrote:You may have already seen this, but a couple affordable places in your general region of the Country made it in the top 5 for COPD:
http://copddigest.org/read/116/Top+5+Pl ... +with+COPD


Thanks, I had not come across that web page!
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby Grandpaboys » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:01 pm

My wife has COPD. She likes it humid and Hot. Cold weather does her in. We live in Rockport,Texas on the Gulf Coast. We have a Sea Breeze from the Southeast that is clean. Cold Air does her in, even if the AC is set to low. Industrial areas are not good.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby aja8888 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:13 pm

Grandpaboys wrote:My wife has COPD. She likes it humid and Hot. Cold weather does her in. We live in Rockport,Texas on the Gulf Coast. We have a Sea Breeze from the Southeast that is clean. Cold Air does her in, even if the AC is set to low. Industrial areas are not good.


Thanks, my wife does not like cold at all, but has only suffered with this disease in the last few years and not spent time in a cold climate. I suppose humidity (and dew point) are OK for COPD as long as the air is clean and free of pollen, dust, industrial pollutants, etc.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby Easy Rhino » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:37 pm

Sounds like you'd be looking for low pollution, but access to good health care?

I got no obvious recommendations, just trying to clarify. Too bad that Houston's really good hospitals are in Houston.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby aja8888 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:56 pm

Easy Rhino wrote:Sounds like you'd be looking for low pollution, but access to good health care?

I got no obvious recommendations, just trying to clarify. Too bad that Houston's really good hospitals are in Houston.


Yes, hospitals are good here. Very good for cancer, heart transplants, orthopedics, etc. But COPD is not that complicated and the hospital needs a pulmonary unit which most have.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby DTSC » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:33 pm

It also depends if she has an allergic/asthmatic component to the COPD. If there is, obviously you won't want to move to an area where there is a lot of what she is allergic to.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby Jake46 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:38 pm

National Jewish Hospital in Denver. #1 respiratory hospital year in & year out.


http://www.nationaljewish.org/
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby aja8888 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:48 pm

DTSC wrote:It also depends if she has an allergic/asthmatic component to the COPD. If there is, obviously you won't want to move to an area where there is a lot of what she is allergic to.


We have not come across any allergic component as of yet. No history of asthma but she did smoke for years. Seems like the triggers for episodes are increasing, and the onset timing is varied.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby DTSC » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:07 pm

aja8888 wrote:
DTSC wrote:It also depends if she has an allergic/asthmatic component to the COPD. If there is, obviously you won't want to move to an area where there is a lot of what she is allergic to.


We have not come across any allergic component as of yet. No history of asthma but she did smoke for years. Seems like the triggers for episodes are increasing, and the onset timing is varied.


Based on my brief (1 year) experience, the air in Houston certainly isn't great. How is the air quality in metro Houston, especially western outskirts of town? Perhaps it is better as things tend to blow from west to east. You'll still be close(r) to friends and family. Certainly Texas is A LOT cheaper than California - especially the more desirable parts of California. The air quality in L.A. is poor. Northern and coastal CA is even more expensive. Central Valley is relatively cheaper, but it is agricultural and hot and I don't know about the air quality there either.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby aja8888 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:23 pm

DTSC wrote:
aja8888 wrote:
DTSC wrote:It also depends if she has an allergic/asthmatic component to the COPD. If there is, obviously you won't want to move to an area where there is a lot of what she is allergic to.


We have not come across any allergic component as of yet. No history of asthma but she did smoke for years. Seems like the triggers for episodes are increasing, and the onset timing is varied.


Based on my brief (1 year) experience, the air in Houston certainly isn't great. How is the air quality in metro Houston, especially western outskirts of town? Perhaps it is better as things tend to blow from west to east. You'll still be close(r) to friends and family. Certainly Texas is A LOT cheaper than California - especially the more desirable parts of California. The air quality in L.A. is poor. Northern and coastal CA is even more expensive. Central Valley is relatively cheaper, but it is agricultural and hot and I don't know about the air quality there either.


Thanks, we lived in Thousand Oaks, CA until 1992 and it was pleasant. CA is just to expensive and crazy for us anymore. :shock: We are in the northern part of Houston and with about 5 million people here and all the chemical plants and other air emissions sources, it's hard to be away from bad air. Grandpaboys post was intriguing as the coastal areas around Corpus are pretty nice and really not too far away from family. We are going to look into that a bit deeper.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby livesoft » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:32 pm

Rockport is probably closer to petrochemical plants than the northern part of Houston is to League City.

Denver is an interesting idea, but it is cold in the winter. One also has to note the cattle dung smell on warm days in the winter.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby Duckie » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:35 pm

I was going to suggest Wyoming, because Casper and Cheyenne have good hospitals, the air is dry, there's no pollution, and it's a no-state-income-tax state like Texas. However, it does get cold, so that's out.

Arizona is warm, dry, and has a lot of good hospitals. If you're outside of the major metro areas there is little pollution. Sun City and Sun City West (northwest of Phoenix) both have great hospitals.

My mom had COPD and used to go to Del Webb Hospital in Sun City West. She didn't live there, just used the hospital.

Southern Nevada also fits the bill. Plus it's a no-state-income-tax state.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:39 pm

Stay stay from all colder climates due to the proliferation of wood burning.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby retiredjg » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:43 pm

Utah is dry, but the air quality is quite poor at times along the Wasatch Front (essentially northern 1-15 corridor). So the areas with the most medical care have bad air. Park City or St. George might be OK. Park City is pretty expensive and St. George is really hot.

I have not found the whole idea of "move west to a dry climate to help your respiratory issues" to be true at all. In fact, I plan to leave and bad air and respiratory problems are two of the primary reasons.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby Easy Rhino » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:09 pm

Houston has some pretty exotic industrial air pollution due to all the refineries nearby.

And Denver (and the front range) can have bad air pollution due to regular car smog on temperature inversion days. Probably not as bad as it was 20 years ago, but I wouldn't call it clean.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby Soonerintn » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:26 pm

Sarasota Florida. As the article in copd digest suggests naples, sarasota is just up the coast. It is much cheaper and more convenient.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby epilnk » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:11 pm

DTSC wrote:
aja8888 wrote:
DTSC wrote:It also depends if she has an allergic/asthmatic component to the COPD. If there is, obviously you won't want to move to an area where there is a lot of what she is allergic to.


We have not come across any allergic component as of yet. No history of asthma but she did smoke for years. Seems like the triggers for episodes are increasing, and the onset timing is varied.


Based on my brief (1 year) experience, the air in Houston certainly isn't great. How is the air quality in metro Houston, especially western outskirts of town? Perhaps it is better as things tend to blow from west to east. You'll still be close(r) to friends and family. Certainly Texas is A LOT cheaper than California - especially the more desirable parts of California. The air quality in L.A. is poor. Northern and coastal CA is even more expensive. Central Valley is relatively cheaper, but it is agricultural and hot and I don't know about the air quality there either.

The air quality in much of the central valley is quite poor - it's a bowl that traps pollutants. The urban areas are windward, and the Sierra forms a wall. Agribusiness is a surprisingly high contributor to VOCs and small particles. And the smoke collects in the valley when California catches fire.

Assuming a Houston native can handle the summer heat I suspect most of Florida would be a good choice. The high density of retirees will keep medical care standards high, the geography will keep pollution low, and there is a wide range of housing affordability.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby DTSC » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:25 pm

Obviously, air quality is very important. However, as a doctor, I know firsthand that having good family support close by is extremely important for patients with a chronic illness. IMHO, this should certainly be a major consideration if you do finally decide to move.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby imagardener » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:13 pm

Ice-9 wrote:You may have already seen this, but a couple affordable places in your general region of the Country made it in the top 5 for COPD:
http://copddigest.org/read/116/Top+5+Pl ... +with+COPD


I don't have COPD but am sensitive to pollen and have to caution against Naples FL for several problems. Pollen is one thing but red tide causes much more respiratory distress even a couple of miles from the Gulf. People cannot open their windows, go on the beach, walk, etc. I lived in Naples for 10 years and red tide occurred every so often. Red tide is a naturally occurring phenomena in warm Gulf waters and was mentioned as far back as the Spanish explorers, and not in a good way.

The other thing I found obnoxious is that "reclaimed water" is used everywhere for irrigation and it is very bad for people with respiratory problems, full of sulfur and other (who-knows-what) chemicals. My spouse also believes it was responsible for a persistent skin rash that no doctor could fix until we moved to another city where it resolved on it's own.

I'm not sure any city in Florida except in the northernmost part is a great idea for COPD because of pollen and humidity. I love southwest Florida and chose it after considering every state in the US but we don't have COPD.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby aja8888 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:07 pm

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. :happy This does not appear to be an easy issue to resolve with a physical move. Family support is not that big an issue as many of the kids, grandkids and siblings are spread out across the U.S. (Alaska, California, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Texas) and one in Siri Lanka.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby GregLee » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:33 am

Hawaii has some air quality monitoring stations whose measurements are displayed here: http://emdweb.doh.hawaii.gov/air-quality/. We have the trades (good) and volcanoes (bad).
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby MinimalZen » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:54 am

More than air quality, altitude is important. Stay at sea level, do not try to move to higher altitude. National Jewish might be the best but is also at 6000 feet ;)
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby HongKonger » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:58 am

Try Sri Lanka.
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby Colorado13 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:04 am

livesoft wrote:Denver is an interesting idea, but it is cold in the winter. One also has to note the cattle dung smell on warm days in the winter.


Cattle dung smell? And you were most recently in Denver in 1923 I'm guessing? :happy Air quality in the city is not always great due to temperature inversions, but compared to Houston or LA, it's a dream (although I don't know how/if it would impact COPD.)
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby aja8888 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:34 pm

HongKonger wrote:Try Sri Lanka.


Too close to sister-in-law doing missionary work..... :happy
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Re: COPD diagnosis - best climate/place to live in?

Postby HongKonger » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:40 pm

aja8888 wrote:
HongKonger wrote:Try Sri Lanka.


Too close to sister-in-law doing missionary work..... :happy


Haha.

My mother has COPD with chronic asthma and despite the awful pollution here in HK, every time she comes to stay the humidity does wonders for her breathing and she rarely needs her inhaler.
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