Breathe easy this winter

“Calm down, take a deep breath SolidWorks 2016. You’ll be fine”, this is generally great advice, but what if you were physically unable to do it? What if your airways just close up?

An asthma attack can be very frightening. It is caused when the muscles around your airway tighten; and there is a higher risk of this happening during winter. So, why is asthma triggered by weather conditions? Let’s explain.

Triggers for winter asthma attacks

People who suffer from asthma have very sensitive airways and the change in temperature – cold air – can trigger an asthma attack. But, there are other factors that can cause asthma symptoms.

  • Since more people suffer from colds and flu in the winter, it’s easier for you to catch. The virus can worsen asthma symptoms.
  • The howling wind combined with the damp weather, can sweep up pollen and mould spores, which are then breathed into the lungs.
  • Sudden changes in temperature can also increase the chances of an attack.

Symptoms of an asthma attack

  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in the chest

Ways to prevent asthma attacks

Exercise indoors. Your asthma doesn’t need to be a reason to ditch the exercise in winter. If you exercise in warmer environments (such as indoors), it’s less likely to trigger an attack.

Are you unsure of what exercises to do? Don’t worry. Here are some great exercises for asthma sufferers.

Don’t sit too close to the fire. We’re not trying to be mean, we promise. There is evidence that the smoke from burning wood has the same effect on your lungs as tobacco. “Smoke is smoke, and smoke can irritate your lungs, especially when you have asthma.” explains Todd Rambasek, MD, of ENT & Allergy Health Services in Cleveland.

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We suggest wrapping yourself in another blanket to keep you warm and sip a warm drink!

Get your flu jab. You should get the flu vaccine. You aren’t at a higher risk for getting flu, but if you do, your asthma symptoms could become more serious.

Always take your medication. Be honest now, do you stop taking your medication when you begin to feel better?  Remember – your reliever is used to deal with the attack, but you need to continue taking the long-term medication – especially in the colder seasons to keep your symptoms under control. Also, make sure that you know how to use your inhalers correctly.

You don’t need to suffer from asthma attacks this winter: they are easy to avoid, by simply following our prevention plan!

 

Sources

http://www.webmd.com/asthma/features/winter-asthma

http://www.everydayhealth.com/asthma/tips-to-make-winter-easier-on-your-asthma.aspx

https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/weather/

http://www.health.com/asthma

http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20316437,00.html