Coping With Asthma and Cold Weather
Some people may find that their asthma becomes worse in the damper, colder months. Cold dry air and catching a cold can all trigger asthma symptoms. You know you can't avoid cold weather forever – so, how do you cope with cold weather and asthma for the next few months?
Lynsey offers her tips and advice on how to limit cold weather induced asthma.
Cold weather is the bane of my life, and annoyingly enough, autumn is my favorite time of the year. Maybe this is because I get to wear big jumpers, cozy slippers, and I also get to wrap a scarf around my mouth – which in turn helps my asthma, believe it or not.
However, what causes our symptoms to worsen in the colder months?
The cold weather affects asthma for so many reasons.
How Cold Weather Affects Asthma
- Cold air is dry and can dry out our airways. Our airways are lined with a thin layer of fluid, and when you breathe in dry air, that fluid evaporates quicker than it can be replaced. This causes the airways to become irritated and swollen.
- Cold weather also increases mucus, which makes it thicker and stickier than the protective liner that is already in our airways. The thicker mucus that the dry air produces makes it a lot easier for you to catch a cold or another infection such as a sore throat.
- Catching a cold is known to set off asthma symptoms. It kicks up your wheezing and starts with a dry cough.
Tips for Coping With Asthma in Cold Weather
There are a few ways that you can avoid making your asthma worse in cold weather.
- Things like drinking extra fluids. It doesn't have to be a hot drink; you can continue to drink water if that's what you prefer. As long as you're drinking more fluids, it does help.
- Try as hard as you can to avoid people that aren't well. Due to the thicker and stickier mucus, you will catch illnesses a lot easier, so try to avoid them if you can. I know how difficult it is.
- Clean and dust your home more often to remove the indoor allergens that also kickstart your asthma. Mainly in the cold months, you don't tend to have your windows open as much, so the indoor allergens manage just to keep breeding.
- Wash your bed sheets more regularly. If you can, do this on a hot wash as this gets rid of the dust mites which also irritate asthma.
- Wrap a scarf around your nose and your mouth when going outside. This warms up the dry air before it enters your airways; therefore it protects the natural fluid that we already have and prevents it from getting thicker and stickier, which can make your asthma worse.