Best Ways To Avoid Asthma Attacks During Winters: Breathing cold air during winter can make asthma symptoms worse. Working with your doctor to develop an effective asthma action plan and following it is key to effective treatment.

If you have asthma, you may find that your symptoms are affected by the seasons. When the temperature dips, going outside can make breathing more of a chore. And exercising in the cold can bring on symptoms such as coughing and wheezing even faster.

Here’s a look at what causes cold-induced asthma and how to prevent attacks during the winter months.

Why are Winters Harsh with Asthma? 

  • Wild weather: Even in milder climes, winter frequently brings with it wind, rain, snow, and temperature swings. Changes in barometric pressure can cause sinusitis, and mold spores can be stirred up by windy and rainy weather. These may also trigger exacerbations of asthma.
  • Illnesses: Viral infections, colds, and the flu are prevalent in the winter and can aggravate airway irritation. These diseases cause the bronchial tubes’ mucus to thicken, which makes breathing more difficult. This may exacerbate symptoms or trigger flare-ups of asthma.
  • Time spent inside: If it’s chilly outside, you might stay indoors with the windows closed and the heating on for a longer period of time. Additionally, you can be more susceptible to respiratory infections, irritants, and allergies indoors. For instance, if dust, mold, pet dander, or cigarette smoke triggers your asthma attacks and you live with a smoker, you may be at risk for an asthma attack.

Can cold air cause an asthma attack?

You run the risk of having an asthma attack in the winter if you have severe asthma and cold air is a trigger. To manage your asthma over the winter, go to your asthma action plan. Always get medical help if your symptoms get worse.

To prevent a flare-up of asthma brought on by chilly air:

  1. Wear a scarf over your lips and nose to warm the air before inhaling it.
  2. As soon as symptoms appear, use a short-acting albuterol inhaler to prevent asthma attacks from getting worse.
  3. Spend as much time indoors as you can. Your airways will become more open if you breathe in warmer air. Just ensure that the space you’re in is free of indoor allergies and irritants.
  4. If you get these symptoms every time it gets chilly, discuss a long-term treatment strategy with your physician.

Is exercise-induced asthma in cold weather real?

It is undoubtedly more difficult to work out outside in the cold. Not only those who have asthma, but everyone may relate to this. Although it may be simpler on your body to breathe through your nose in chilly weather, breathing through your mouth is often required when engaging in strenuous activity in order to receive more air.

The chilly, dry air enters your airways directly when you breathe via your mouth. The bronchial tubes’ lining mucus can dry out thanks to such air. This may exacerbate symptoms or trigger a flare-up of asthma.

If you would rather work out outside or if you like to go skiing or ice skating, consider warming up before you leave the house. Although stretching and warming up before exercise is typically advised by doctors, people who have asthma may find it especially beneficial. Before leaving, try walking in place, using a treadmill, or dancing to a few songs. The cold may help your lungs work better.

In case you suffer from exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB), your physician can advise using a short-acting albuterol inhaler 15 to 20 minutes before engaging in physical activity. By doing this, you prepare your airways in advance for physical exercise and cold weather.

How to handle asthma in the winter?

Know what you can do to ease symptoms if winter weather affects your asthma?

  • Minimize your outdoor physical activity. Work out in the gym or at home.
  • Use the scarf you’re wearing to warm the air you breathe.
  • Put humidifiers to use in your house. Make sure they don’t grow mold.
  • Hands should be washed often. Winter illnesses can be avoided by using hand sanitizer or doing a 20-second soap wash outside.
  • Pay attention to your hands. To stop the spread of germs, keep them away from your face and eyes.
  • Vaccinate against flu early in the fall. Keep your COVID-19 vaccinations up to date.
  • Establish an Action Plan for Asthma. Recognize what to do in the event of a relapse.
  • If you have a pet dander allergy, spend less time with pets. Keep pets out of your bedroom.
  • If mold and dust mites aggravate your symptoms, keep your house dry and cool to prevent their growth.
  • Your heating and cooling system’s filters need to be cleaned and replaced. Ensure that filters are cleaned before each season begins. To maintain the best possible indoor air quality, check often.

What else should I know about cold air and asthma?

Asthma affects people differently. You should treat an asthma flare-up that is brought on by cold weather in the same way you would any other.

On the absolute freezing days, try to stay inside and keep an eye on the weather. If you must go outside, cover up with a scarf or face mask. Protect your health to prevent an asthma attack brought on by a virus. Adjust the interior air humidity to a level that is most pleasant for you to breathe.

When taking medication, adhere to your doctor’s instructions. Do not stop taking your prescription medication, even if you are feeling well, if it is an inhaler or another asthma management tool. Always adhere to your established plan to prevent needless flare-ups.

  • Verify that all of your prescriptions are up to date. If necessary, refill.
  • How to manage your asthma while you don’t have symptoms, when symptoms start, and when they get worse should all be covered in your asthma action plan. Always be ready for the unexpected.
  • Have a notebook nearby so you can jot down notes if your symptoms get worse. This can reveal previously unknown causes. Maintain a record of the medications you take; your physician will value an overview.

Is cold air good for asthma?

Since cold air tends to irritate the bronchial tubes and exacerbate asthma symptoms, it is generally not good for persons who have asthma.

It would be better for you to spend as much time indoors during the chilly winter months if you have asthma. Incorporate HEPA filters into your ventilation systems and keep an eye on the quality of the air indoors. Keep an eye out for any indications of mold and get rid of it right away. Make sure your bedding has mattress covers and pillows resistant to dust mites. To assist in clearing the air within your home of pet dander and other allergens, think about purchasing an air purifier or air cleaner.

Better windows and insulation can be found in modern dwellings. They better retain heat and are less drafty. However, this implies that carpets, drapes, furniture, and bedding can retain moisture, which promotes the growth of dust mites. Use dehumidifiers and maintain your home’s humidity below 50% to help prevent the growth of dust mites. To lower the humidity level in your home, open your windows for one hour each day when the weather permits.

When to Consult 

If you are constantly getting asthmatic or respiratory problems in winters, immediately fix your consultation with Dr. Virendra Singh. He will identify your problem instantly, and tell you the right solution and medical approach to relieve you from the problem.