Asthma is chronic disease that restricts the movement of air into and out of the lungs. Most often, this restriction is caused by the lungs being swollen or inflamed. Because your lungs are already compromised, they can become more sensitive to certain things, one of them being the cold. During the winter months, the cold air (and some other winter related triggers) can cause the lungs to swell even more, making breathing much more difficult, and can even cause an asthma attack. To help decrease your risk of an asthma attack this winter, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Breathe through your nose
    Breathing through your nose helps warm the air travelling to your lungs, making it less shocking to your sensitive airways.

  2. Avoid fireplaces
    Along with the cold, your lungs will be extra sensitive to smoke. Sitting near a wood-burning fireplace (or anything burning) can put your lungs at risk.

  3. Get a flu shot
    Having asthma doesn’t increase your risk of catching the flu, but it means your symptoms may be much worse if you do contract the illness. Getting a flu shot every year helps protect your body from further stress. Doctors also recommend people with asthma also get the pneumonia vaccine.

  4. Sanitize
    Similarly to the logic behind getting a flu shot, you’ll want to avoid other illnesses that go around in the colder months. This means washing your hands often, sanitizing your hands/belongings, and practicing other health-conscious behaviors.

Along with these things, it’s important to remember to take your asthma medications regularly, and also carry a rescue inhaler with you at all times. Stay warm, stay healthy, and your asthma will not restrict your winter fun. It’s all about preemptive action!