For many asthma sufferers, attacks happen more in the winter. This is because of cold weather – asthma attacks are often caused by colds or flu, which are more prevalent in the winter. As well as this, being indoors can exacerbate symptoms, due to mould and dust mites.
If you do suffer from asthma, it’s important you understand your triggers. When you inhale something that sets off your asthma, your airways – the tubes in your lungs that carry air – can become very tight and clogged up with mucus. Make sure you talk to your doctor to find out what your triggers are – he or she may suggest that you make a diary in order to document exactly what sets you off.
Triggers could include:
Pets – Having cats or dogs in your home could set off asthma – if so, make sure you keep all animals out of the bedroom as curbing allergy triggers when you sleep can make a big difference. If you have carpets in your house, you may want to think about changing them to wooden flooring, as pet hair can get caught up in the carpets and is hard to extract.
Cover bedding – If mites are a problem use mite-proof covers on the mattress box springs and pillows, which keep mites away overnight.
Dryness – It’s important to keep the house dry as mould doesn’t grow much when it’s cool and dry. However some doctors recommend using a humidifier, which puts water back into the air. Again, it depends what your triggers are, so perhaps speak to your GP for more information.
Stress – Try to avoid getting too stressed out if you suffer from asthma. Winter can be a difficult time, long trips to work in cold weather can take their toll. Yoga and/or meditation can help relax you.
In winter, and indeed during all times of the year, make sure you avoid family and friends who are ill, wash your hands to stop viruses from getting into your body when you touch your eyes, nose and mouth. You could even get a flu shot – if it’s right for you. This helps to protect you from catching the flu.
In order to protect yourself from asthma flare-ups due to chilly weather, you can:
Cover your face – you can do this by wearing a winter face mask that covers the bottom half of your face, or by draping a scarf across your mouth and nose.
If you’re an exercise fan, just make sure you exercise indoors
If you suffer from asthma, it’s important that you take medicine as prescribed and liaise with your doctor about controlling your asthma during the cold winter months.
Make sure you discuss:
We hope this article has been useful – if you have any more questions, please contact our friendly team.