Contributed by – Rachana Arya
Winters are all about snowfall, warm blankets, hot chocolate, hot coffee and biting cold winds. Winters have much more to offer than just Christmas and ice skating. However, if you or anyone in your family has asthma then winters can become taxing. Some preparations can always help you breathe easy during these coldest months.
If you find it difficult to breathe during winters, then you might be suffering from weather-induced asthma. Cold climate can trigger asthma attacks in many people. Asthma causes the airways to swell and narrow. If you are one of them and you get exposed to triggers then you might cough, wheeze or experience trouble in breathing. For a majority of such people, cold air is a common trigger.
[Also read – How your diet can help you deal with asthma]
Winters can be tricky for asthma patients. Cold temperatures can also cause the muscles around the airway to clamp down which makes it even harder for the air to pass through. However, you can prevent that by the following ways:
Dry air is a very common phenomenon during winters. When you are sitting indoors where the air is warmed by an indoor heater. Such an atmosphere has very dry air which can also irritate your airways. This is also the flu season where you get exposed to cold and flu viruses. A lot of people suffer from viral induced asthma. You can experience an asthma attack as a consequence of a respiratory infection. Indoor allergens such as pet dander, dust mites and tobacco smoke also cause asthma attacks. However, asthma doesn’t mean that you always have to face a miserable winter.
[Also read – What is allergic asthma and how to manage it?]
There are so many ways to deal with cold weather induced asthma. You must limit your time that you spend out. Never behave in a careless manner when it comes to your asthma medicines especially during winters. Always take your prescribed medicines on time even if you feel good. Bundle up in your blanket or tie a scarf over your mouth and nose to make the air you breathe a little less cold and dry.
Use a room humidifier at bedtime. It helps putting a little moisture back into the winter air of your room. Clean the humidifiers regularly to avoid the growth of mould. This can also be another trigger to your asthma. Saline nasal sprays also aid the moistening of the dried-out nasal passages. Keep yourself fit and healthy by avoiding viral infections. Stay away from people suffering from colds and flu. Wash your hands frequently to keep germs at bay.
Try to adjust your physical activities during winter months. If you are suffering from exercise-induced asthma, then strenuous exercises do narrow down your airways. This makes you sensitive to the cold. Hence you should limit your physical activity when you go out in the icy air. Seek medical help immediately without thinking twice instead of getting nervous about your asthma. Contact your doctor and ask as many questions as you want who can assist you to manage symptoms of asthma so that you can enjoy the season.
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