How to Limit Winter Weather-induced Asthma
In the United States, one in 13 people has asthma – a disease of the lungs that can cause wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing at night or in the early morning. The dry, cold weather or respiratory illnesses during winter can worsen asthma. That is why it is important to stay healthy as temperatures decline.
“Cold and dry air in the winter months, as well as respiratory illnesses, can trigger asthma symptoms or cause an asthma attack,” said Shannon Fasig, APRN, Memorial Physician Services – Koke Mill. “Take steps to manage your asthma during cold weather.”
Here are some tips that may help:
- Take your medications. Continue your prescribed inhaler routine and medications as directed by your primary care provider.
- Carry your rescue inhaler. Always carry your rescue inhaler with you.
- Use your inhaler correctly. Make sure you are using your inhaler correctly – ask your primary care provider if you have questions.
- Pay attention to the weather. Check the forecast to avoid any sudden changes in temperature. Consider wearing a scarf over your face in frigid temperatures.
- Keep your air clean. Replace air filters in your home and vehicle when needed.
- Breathe through your nose. Breathing through your nose is better for your lungs than breathing through your mouth because your nose warms the air before it reaches the lungs.
- Prevent infection. Wash your hands and get a flu shot to prevent illness.
- Have an asthma action plan. Establish a written asthma action plan with your primary care provider to help control your asthma.
Managing your asthma symptoms in the winter months may be a challenge, but if you pay attention to your body, you can avoid worsening symptoms.
Concerned about asthma?
If you have questions about your asthma condition, speak with your primary care provider or find a doctor.