Did you know that cold air can irritate your airways?
When cold air (especially cold, dry air) enters the lungs it can cause the airways to constrict, leading to wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. The good news is that these effects can be avoided by checking the weather forecast and planning ahead. If you need to go out into the cold weather, here are some tips that may help.
- Check weather conditions before going outside and dress appropriately for the weather.
- Always carry your prescribed reliever medication and valved holding chamber with you.
- If the cold air is a known trigger for you, talk to your doctor about the option of taking your reliever medication 10 – 15 minutes before going outside.
- Use a scarf or facemask to cover your mouth and nose when you are outside – this helps to warm and humidify the air before it enters your lungs.
- Exercise indoors when the weather is extremely cold
- Get your seasonal flu shot and practice proper hand-washing to avoid getting sick and worsening your symptoms.
SOURCE: Ontario Lung Association