Asthma and Cold Weather
Welcome to January! In many places, the snow and the chills have arrived fast and furiously. We’ve written about seasonal asthma before, but today, let’s specifically take a look at the dangers of asthma and cold weather.
Before we get started, let’s talk about the basics of asthma. According to the CDC, asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It can be controlled with medicine and by avoiding the triggers that can cause an attack. In part, avoiding these triggers is what we’ll be talking about in today’s blog post.
If you suffer from asthma, you likely already know the symptoms. For parents who are worried about their little ones, here are some potential symptoms that may indicate that a person, including a child, is suffering from asthma:
- Trouble breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
If you notice these symptoms in you or your child, it is crucial to speak with a doctor as soon as possible. A medical professional can properly diagnose this condition. They can also teach you about proper treatment and prevention techniques. Remember: above all, the advice of a medical professional about your unique situation should take precedence over anything you read on the Internet.
Winter is Here: Asthma and Cold Weather
Getting back to the focus of today’s topic, asthma and cold weather can be a dangerous combination. While most people associate the cause of asthma attacks with pollen or other airborne contaminates, cold weather is also a common asthma trigger. In truth, winter can be quite dangerous for anyone suffering with asthma.
For a brief understanding of the effects of asthma and cold weather, picture the airways that carry air to your lungs. Colder winter air can cause these airways to swell. In turn, this makes them narrower, which makes it harder for air to get through. As a result, asthma and cold weather can cause breathing trouble for many people.
Beyond simple cold weather, don’t forget that winter is also flu season. Obviously, catching a virus that affects the respiratory system can make breathing even more difficult. This is yet another risk of asthma and cold weather.
Staying Safe During the Winter
Keeping these facts about asthma and cold weather in mind, remember that all hope is not lost. There are some basic steps you can take to limit risks. Here are a few of them:
Take Frequent Breaks
We’ve talked about taking breaks during hot weather, but the same is true for cold weather. For people suffering from asthma, make sure to take frequent breaks when outside in the winter. Go inside to warm up. Actually, this is good general advice for everyone. Frostbite is a serious danger when temperatures are frigid.
Follow the Doctor’s Orders
If a person has already been prescribed asthma medications, it is crucial that these are taken regularly and on schedule. If an inhaler is needed, make sure to never leave home without it.
Dress for Maximum Warmth
Dressing in layers is a smart idea for everyone in the winter. It can help to keep kids and adults warm and dry. In addition, consider adding a warm scarf or face mask over a child’s mouth and nose. It can help keep the air they breathe a bit warmer and drier.
These are just a few basic tips for asthma and cold weather. Above all, if you have questions, we advise speaking with a medical professional.