Have you ever noticed your asthma and allergies getting worse in the winter months? This is not a coincidence and is quite a common problem. There are many ways in which cold weather can contribute, whether directly or indirectly, to asthma symptoms. In fact, there are some that only suffer from asthmatic symptoms during the winter months, thus the coined term, cold weather asthma.
The best way to help yourself stay as healthy as possible during the winter months is to stay on top of triggers and symptoms.
The Difference Between Asthma and Cold Weather Asthma
Asthma, in general, is an ailment affecting the lungs by inflaming and/or narrowing airways. It is a recurring problem and has many types and causes, but the result is always the same; trouble breathing. Cold weather asthma is a type of asthma that is either directly caused by the winter weather or is made worse by winter conditions. There are an estimated 25 million asthma sufferers in the United States alone.
Dealing with Triggers
While asthma is a long-term problem that is typically treated but not cured, there are often times the disease is calm and other times when patients have a flare-up. These flare-ups are typically caused by what is called a trigger; an environmental cause that effects the symptoms of asthma. In winter, there are triggers almost everywhere you go.
In winter, we automatically send more time indoors. This means that we are more likely to encounter indoor allergen triggers such as pet dander and dust mites. The fireplace can be a trigger as well, the smoke causing trouble breathing. Keeping a clean, aired-out home and choosing better heating options are the best ways to prevent these problems.
Humidifiers, snow, hot showers; all of these things increase dampness, which easily leads to mold and mildew. These are some of the most obvious triggers of asthma symptoms, though we may not think what we are doing is helping them to thrive. Keep damp areas as dry as possible by giving humidifiers a break during the day and using exhaust fans during hot showers.
Cold Air Itself
The cold air itself can make it harder to breathe. It is important that even your face is kept warm when going outdoors, and the biggest piece of advice, is to not exercise during the coldest parts of the day outdoors. This can easily trigger an asthma attack.
Contact Questcare Medical Clinic
If you are suffering from asthma and would like to talk with a physician about lessening symptoms contact Questcare Medical Clinic for information about our locations and hours.