People suffering with asthma may find that their symptoms are affected by the winter season.
During colder months breathing outdoors may be troublesome. Those that exercise outdoors may find they suffer with symptoms like coughing and wheezing frequently than in warmer weather.
Asthma is the result of airways (bronchial tubes) swelling and becoming inflamed in response to certain triggers. Once swollen, airways are narrower and can’t take in as much air. The result is troubled breathing and why people often have trouble “catching their breath”.
Research has found that hospital admissions for asthma increase during the winter months. And as a medical professional and an expert in the treatment of asthma, I see an increase number of patients complaining of shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing as well as other symptoms when the weather turns cold.
Why does cold air affect asthma symptoms?
When you breathe in dry air, the fluid that lines your airways evaporates causing irritation and swelling in the airways, worsening asthma symptoms. Recognizing the change in your condition, your body will release histamine – yes, the same chemical your body produces during an allergy attack.
Another physiological change occurring at this time, the mucus that lines your airways will also become thicker and stickier than normal. Not only does this make breathing more difficult, the extra mucus can make it more likely to catch a cold, flu, or other respiratory infections. These infections are also known to set off asthma symptoms.
Being shut in during winter months, you’re more exposed to dust, mold, and pet dander. If you are sensitive to these allergens, they may trigger asthma symptoms.
Don’t suffer with troubled breathing
If your symptoms don’t improve or they seem to get worse whenever you’re out in the cold, give me a call and together we will establish an easy to follow asthma treatment plan.