Asthma symptoms tend to worsen in cold weather. If you suffer from this chronic respiratory condition, remain vigilant against potential flare-ups this time of year.
What Causes Asthma Attacks?
Asthma triggers—or anything that causes a person with asthma to cough, wheeze, or struggle to breathe—are found both indoors and outside during the winter. It’s important to understand your triggers so you can prevent asthma attacks from happening.
Cold outdoor air thickens the mucus in your nose and lungs, making it harder to breathe and increasing the chance that allergens will get into your system. Cold air hitting the lungs also releases histamines, which can cause wheezing.
You might think you have a better chance of avoiding winter asthma if you stay indoors. However, triggers abound here as well, including dust, mold, and pet dander. Heated indoor air can also dry out your nasal passages, allowing these allergens easier access to your lungs.
What Helps Asthma Attacks?
The fastest way to treat asthma in winter is to use your quick-relief inhaler. Prescription medication inside the inhaler enters your lungs and immediately widens tightened airways, making it easier to breathe.
Preventive, long-term medications are also available. These reduce swelling and mucus in your airways to help make you less vulnerable to future asthma attacks. Preventive medicine comes in several forms, including inhalers, pills, liquids, shots, infusions, and more. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for the best results when taking prescription drugs.
How to Avoid Asthma Attacks During the Winter
Having worse asthma symptoms in winter doesn’t mean the season must be miserable. By keeping your lungs warm, moistening your airways, and avoiding asthma triggers, you can reduce the number of attacks you experience this winter.
- Breathe through your nose to naturally warm and moisten the air as it enters your lungs.
- Wear a scarf to insulate your nose and throat against the cold.
- Don’t overexert yourself. Save all aerobic exercises for when you’re indoors.
- Take breaks every so often to warm up inside and enjoy a hot beverage.
- Replace the furnace filter regularly. Consider upgrading to a high-efficiency style designed to help people with asthma.
- Run a humidifier while you sleep. Consider installing a whole-house model for consistent humidity in every room.
- Use hypoallergenic bedding to avoid trapping dust and dander that could trigger an asthma attack.
- Keep your home smoke-free. Don’t light candles, smoke cigarettes, or use your fireplace.
- Dust and vacuum often to minimize allergen buildup on carpeting and hard surfaces.
Asthma Care in Texas
Exceptional Emergency Center is a freestanding emergency hospital offering asthma treatment in Amarillo, Beaumont, Brownsville, Ft. Worth, Harlingen, Livingston, Lubbock, Port Arthur, Saches/Garland, Orange, and Tyler, TX. Rest assured that we are taking extra precautions against the spread of COVID-19, so you can confidently seek treatment at our emergency clinic.
To enjoy the best ER care in Texas, please schedule an appointment with us online today.