How To Manage Winter Asthma

What is Asthma?

Even if you don’t personally have asthma, you probably know someone who does. One in 13 Americans is diagnosed as having asthma. That’s approximately 25 million, with 20 million being adult sufferers. 

Asthma is a condition characterized as when the airways to the lungs become narrow due to swelling and may produce extra mucus. Having more mucus in such a tight space can cause a whistling noise when you breathe, a cough, or shortness of breath. Ranging from being annoying to life-threatening, asthma can certainly create problems with one’s quality of life.

Asthma signs and symptoms include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • Wheezing when exhaling (more common in children)
  • Sleep disturbances due to shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing

Many with asthma find their symptoms worsen in colder weather. Some even report they only experience breathing problems in fall and winter climates. Hibernating indoors isn’t an option for most of us, so here are some things to know about winter asthma.

Winter Asthma

Specific to asthma in winter months, some common culprits are:
  • Dry, colder air – Airways in your lungs are protected by a layer of fluid. When breathing in cold air, that layer of fluid evaporates and can cause the airways to become swollen and irritated, thus causing an increase in asthma symptoms.
  • Respiratory illness – The airways also have a protective layer of mucus. In cold weather, the layer of mucus could thicken and increase the chance of getting a respiratory infection like a cold or flu. In turn, these infections could further irritate the airways and trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Exercise – Staying physically active year-round is always a good idea. However, outdoor exercise during the winter months requires increased lung capacity. Given the reasons already mentioned, asthma sufferers deal with compromised and restricted air passages as they exercise and breathe in cold air.

What You Can Do to Manage Winter Asthma:

  • Breathe through your nose. As weird as it may seem, breathing through your nose causes inhaled air to warm before reaching the lungs. This prevents the air from irritating the passages, thus reducing the chance of wheezing and coughing. When the weather is cold, cover the mouth with a scarf to help with the warming effect. This can be done while exercising too. 
  • Clean your environment frequently to reduce the occurrence of dust or mold build-up. This could help to lessen the number of irritants while being inside more during cold weather months. 
  • Use proper hand hygiene, namely use warm water and soap. Hand washing helps reduce the transmitting of germs and decreases the chance of acquiring a respiratory illness.
  • Bring your exercise regimen indoors. Indoor air tends to be more humid than outdoor air in the winter months, reducing the opportunities to trigger asthma symptoms. 
  • Create an action plan with your physician. Your doctor can help you keep your asthma symptoms under control during the winter months. 

At Desert Oasis Clinic, you will work with Dr. Thompson to create a treatment plan that works for you. Treatments such as Low Dose Allergen Therapy (LDA), Nutritional Assessment, and Biopuncture, are just some of the natural and holistic treatments Desert Oasis Clinic offers those dealing with asthma symptoms. 

While there is no cure for asthma, with a physician’s help, patients can find ways to control symptoms. Part of that work includes tracking when there is an onset or increase in symptoms to shape a treatment that is personalized and effective.

Contact Us Today

Desert Oasis Clinic can help you maintain your health using the latest natural and holistic treatments. Please call right now at 702-310-9350 to speak to our friendly staff and schedule an appointment.

Posted in: Health Tips