Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
Cold weather affects our lungs in several ways. It’s known that people with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, and COPD are more prone to aggravated symptoms. Still, even those without lung issues can experience difficulties breathing in the cold.
For people without lung disease, it’s important to take most of the same precautions to stay warm. If you begin to feel breathless, tightness in the chest, or begin coughing or wheezing, experts suggest you head inside whether you have a lung condition or not.
If you must be outside in the cold weather, here are some tips to keep you healthy and warm:
Staying hydrated has multiple benefits like keeping your mucus thin- which is useful in temperatures when your airways may already be constricted due to the cold.
Wear a Scarf or Cold-Weather Mask
When you wear a scarf or cold-weather mask over your nose and mouth, the heat and moisture from your breath helps keep you warm. It also ensures the air that you inhale has already been warmed to a temperature where it won’t irritate your airways.
*It’s important to note that COVID-style masks and neck gaiters do not count as cold-weather masks.
Inhale Through Your Nose
If you don’t have a covering for your nose and mouth, breathing through your nose can be helpful. Our noses are designed to warm up the air we inhale so it’s not as harsh on our throat and lungs.
Layers help trap warm air next to your body and keep your internal temperature high.
Exercise with Caution
When we exercise, we intake more air than we usually do. Exercising in extremely cold weather for more than 30 minutes is not suggested. The symptoms that can be triggered by doing so can last as long as 24 hours. There are lots of ways to stay active indoors, don’t be afraid to try something new!
Seeing a specialist in both preventing and treating lung diseases can provide you relief if you are having difficulties breathing easily this winter.
Our Pulmonologist Wayne Beauford, MD is an expert in lung functioning with over 30 years of experience serving our community. If you or someone you love is experiencing respiratory issues, please visit https://mybethanymedical.com/request-an-appointment/ to request an appointment today.