How Does Winter Affect Asthma Sufferers?

asthma

January is the coldest month of the year, and that can mean bad news for asthma sufferers. As the cold, dry air takes hold, it’s important to know how your asthma can be affected.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways winter can impact your asthma.

Cold Air Can Trigger Asthma Attacks

If you have asthma, you’re probably familiar with your attack triggers. One of the most common triggers is cold, dry air, which is more common during wintertime.

For this reason, many asthma sufferers experience more attacks during the winter season.  

It’s important to dress smartly before going outside–especially when it’s extra cold. Invest in a warm scarf that will cover your mouth. Also, try your best to breathe through your nose when you’re outside. Your nasal passages warm the air more efficiently than your mouth does.

Colds and the Flu Are More Common During Winter

For different reasons, influenza and the common cold are more common when the temperature drops.

As we’ve stated before, the flu becomes more stable in cold temperatures, making it easier to spread from person-to-person. The common cold is more common in winter because people tend to spend more time inside, where cold germs are abundant.

Both the flu and the common cold can trigger asthma attacks or make asthma symptoms worse.

So how can you avoid cold or flu germs during winter?

Constant hand washing can help eliminate cold and flu germs before you catch them. Flu shots will also decrease your chances of catching the flu virus.

Additionally, you should always use hand sanitizers that are at least 60% alcohol.

Change Your Air Filters

During the winter, we naturally spend more time indoors. This extra time inside exposes us to more allergens in the home, including pet dander, dust, and mold.

For asthma sufferers, these allergens can irritate symptoms and even trigger asthma attacks.

To fight the amount of allergens in your home this winter, you should invest in air filters that have a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) of at least 11-13. This will ensure that your filters catch the dangerous allergens–like mold and pet dander–that are most likely to irritate your asthma.

You should aim to change out your air filters at least every 6 weeks to 2 months. If you purchase higher quality filters, you may be able to extend that time frame.

Are you having trouble with your asthma symptoms this winter? It may be time to seek treatment with a specialist.

Allergy & Asthma Center offers specialized asthma treatment programs that meet individual needs.

Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment. 

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