Have you noticed that a sudden change in weather can trigger your asthma symptoms? If so you’re not the only one. In a recent survey, 75 per cent of people said that cold air can trigger asthma symptoms. Damp weather, thunderstorms, really hot weather and a sudden change in temperature also trigger symptoms for some people. Breathing in cold, damp air can make the airways tighten and trigger an attack in three out of four people. People with asthma have airways that are very sensitive. Cold or damp air can enter the airways and trigger them to go into spasm, causing asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. And winter can be a difficult time for people with asthma.
Here are some tips to reduce asthma attack during winter
- Carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times and keep taking your regular preventer inhaler as prescribed by your doctor. If you need to use your inhaler more often than usual, or use more puffs, speak to your doctor about reviewing your medication.
- ‘Warm up the air’; Dr Andy Whittamore, clinical lead at Asthma UK and a practicing GP, said just going outside on a cold day could be life-threatening for many people with asthma. If people have asthma, simply wrapping a scarf around their nose and mouth can warm up the air before they breathe it in, reducing their risk of having an asthma attack.
- Try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth, as your nose is designed to warm the air as you breathe it in
How Scarfies can help prevent asthma attacks:
Breathing in cold winter air often causes asthma symptoms, and sometimes asthma attacks. Three-quarters of people with asthma told this happens to them. But when you breathe through a scarf, it warms the air up. This helps prevents the cold air irritating your airways and triggering an asthma attack.
All you need to do is wrap a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth to warm up the air before you breathe it in.