Asthma can impact patients’ quality of life in several ways, including making them think twice about participating in certain activities that may bring on attacks. Cold weather can be particularly challenging for someone with this condition. It’s therefore necessary to take extra precautions in order to prevent asthma attacks in the winter, especially for those who enjoy being in Michigan’s beautiful outdoors.
Why The Cold Weather Causes Flareups
A combination of natural reactions in your body and pre-existing asthmatic conditions contribute to wintertime asthma attacks.
Winter air is dry, which can irritate the body’s airways. Breathing in cold air also causes the airways to become more narrow and tighter as a method to protect the body from the unusual temperature or substances in the air. A third issue is that the lungs become drier and then inflamed in the cold air as you inhale and exhale.
Additionally, asthmatics who are also sensitive to cold weather allergens may be even more likely to suffer wintertime attacks.
How to Prevent Asthma Attacks in the Winter
If your asthma is severe and consistent, make an appointment to speak with an asthma specialist for complete treatment. Even if your asthma only causes mild symptoms, it’s important to keep it under control because asthma may worsen over time. Asthma treatments include prescription inhalers, oral medications, and allergy shots.
In addition to seeing a doctor, keep the following in mind in order to prevent asthma attacks in the winter.
• When you’re outdoors, cover your mouth and nose with a scarf to minimize the effects of the cold air on your respiratory system.
• Breathe in and out through your nose if possible. The hairs in your nose will reduce the effects of the cold air as well.
• Take your inhaler with you.
• Drink warm liquids before you go outdoors.
• Because outdoor allergens may contribute to asthma attacks in the winter, monitor air weather patterns to avoid spending too much time outdoors when allergen levels are high.
If you have trouble breathing outdoors in the cold but have yet to see a doctor about your symptoms, don’t delay any longer. Consider making an appointment with one of the allergists and asthma specialists at the Saint Clair Allergy & Asthma Center, located here at the Shelby Macomb Medical Mall in Shelby Township.
Reducing and controlling asthma symptoms can help you breathe easier and get back to enjoying Michigan’s winters the way they were meant to be enjoyed.