Winter is the most loved season for its cosy vibes. But winters are not always pleasant for everyone.  

Winter brings foggy mornings and cold evenings. However, the season also brings with it a number of health issues for certain people, including respiratory infections. In addition to the colder climate causing health problems, illness transmission can speed up in the winter due to inadequate ventilation in congested areas.

It may be difficult to breathe comfortably in the frigid temperatures, and those with pre-existing respiratory illnesses including asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) may experience a worsening of their symptoms.

Let’s read about the tips to avoid some common respiratory issues.

Important do’s and don’ts to manage respiratory issues

Avoid vigorous outdoor exercise

Exercises that are strenuous, like running or jogging, can tyre you and leave you with shortness of breath, which can lead to respiratory issues. Instead, consider engaging in cardiovascular exercises inside. Include breathing exercises to expand your lung capacity and make breathing easier if you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Stay warm

Utilize layers of warm clothing to keep your body warm. When you’re outside, wear a scarf or mask to cover your mouth and nose. Drink warm liquids as well, such as coffee and hot soup.

Keep your medicines handy 

If you have asthma or COPD, keep your inhaler close to your hand at all times. As directed by your doctor, continue taking your usual controller medications.

Be aware of allergies

Keep allergies, mould, and dust out of your house. Use an air purifier if necessary, and regularly clean your couches, carpets, and rugs. Avoid making too much contact with animals like cats and dogs.

Focus on boosting immunity

To strengthen your immune system, drink herbal drinks like lemon honey tea and include foods like oranges, amla, garlic, clove, turmeric, etc. in your diet.

Eat a balanced diet

Avoid processed foods, white flour, and sugar since they promote mucus production and clog the airways. Instead, eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.

Increased fluid intake

Every day, consume 6 to 8 glasses of water (unless your doctor gives you other guidelines) to stay hydrated. You may also include juices and soup in your diet.

Quit smoking

Smoke from cigarettes, fireplaces, and wood stoves can exacerbate the symptoms of COPD and asthma, so give it up and stay away from them.

Personal hygiene

The easiest approach to avoid any illnesses is to wash your hands often. Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes. If you have a runny nose, wipe it with tissues and throw them away.

Use humidifiers 

A humidifier may do wonders to keep the indoor air moist and humid during the winter. To prevent bacteria from growing within the humidifier, ensure sure the water you use for a humidifier has been demineralized or distilled. Additionally, make it a practice to regularly clean the humidifier.

Most common respiratory issues in winter

Cold and cough:

The most contagious illness that occurs throughout the winter is the common cold, which may be brought on by more than 200 distinct virus types.


It is sometimes referred to as the ‘flu’, a viral illness that resembles the common cold but is more severe. In addition, to bodily aches and congestion, flu sufferers may experience exhaustion and chest discomfort.


The symptoms of bronchitis include swelling and inflammation in the lungs and airways. It frequently begins with the flu or a normal cold. The most typical sign of bronchitis is a chronic cough.


Pneumonia causes the fluid-filled alveoli in the lungs, which are most frequently observed during the winter.

Whooping cough:

Pertussis, often known as whooping cough, mostly affects young children and is extremely contagious. It manifests as intense, uncontrolled coughing.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV): 

RSV typically affects children and newborns and can lead to chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. It usually manifests as a significant chest ache in the dead of winter.

Final thoughts 

Winter weather is cold, dry, and low in moisture and humidity, which can cause the airways to irritate and constrict, causing breathing difficulties known as bronchospasm (there can be shortness of breath). We all attempt to keep our homes warm throughout the winter. We are abruptly exposed to chilly and dry air when we step outside. This fast change in temperature can also cause havoc by inducing lung inflammation and spasms, which disrupts breathing normally.

People with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute bronchitis, or emphysema (a form of COPD in which the alveoli are damaged and overinflated, causing shortness of breath) should take special precautions.

Microbial infections, such as the common cold and the flu, are more common during the winter (including bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, to mention a few). The infections can greatly complicate the situation by causing further lung discomfort and inflammation. 

It is simple to avoid the onset of respiratory issues during the winter by taking all the essential precautions. You can stave off respiratory illnesses throughout the winter by eating a balanced diet, dressing warmly, getting the flu vaccination, and spending at least an hour in the sun.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. How do you fight winter breathing problems?

Follow healthy diet
Avoid going outdoors
Stay warm
Practice breathing exercises

Q. Why is my breathing worse in winter?

Cold temperatures can trigger symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Even in healthy people, cold, dry air can irritate the airways and lungs.

Q. What is winter asthma?

When breathing in cold, dry air, someone with asthma may experience internal spasms as their body tries to keep their airways open. Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath are brought on by this aggravating the lining of the airways even more.

Q. What climate is best for the lungs?

According to research, individuals with COPD should be in an atmosphere with an air temperature of 70 degrees and a humidity level of 40%. This combination can aid in maintaining relaxed airways, reducing the likelihood of symptoms.

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