How Cold Weather Affects Asthma

When very cold and dry air enters the body, and subsequently the lungs it can cause a tightening of the airways. Cold air can cause wheezing, tightness of the chest muscles, shortness of breath, coughing, a sense of dizziness and sometimes difficulty speaking.

Taking some precautions before going outside in very cold weather can help ease the symptoms. It is important to keep asthma under control at all times. It can be helpful to take a dose of an asthma inhalant ten minutes before going outdoors. This will aid in keeping the airways open. People with asthma should carry their medication with them if they know they are going to be outdoors for any period of time. Another good idea is to keep your mouth and nose covered with a scarf when you are outside in cold weather. This will help to warm the air you are breathing. Anyone who has asthma should avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Sometimes the act of just walking on a windy day can bring on symptoms of an asthma attack. Try breathing through your nose more and through your mouth less. This will help to warm the air that enters your lungs.

People with asthma know the effects it can have during the cold days of winter. Taking a few precautions can help minimize the effects of the cold air on the body.

If you are experiencing symptoms of asthma and would like to seek the advice of a physician at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center, call 718-206-7001 to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.