Winter is an enjoyable season. You are able to breathe in the fresh breeze and rejuvenate. But for asthmatics, it may become something else. It can be hazardous, a reason for asthma exacerbation, and a cause to make them susceptible to pneumonia and respiratory tract infections. Therefore, if you are asthmatic, you need to exercise all the precautions to keep yourself protected, especially in the winter season. According to the experts, the two main reasons that exacerbate asthma in winter are;
The air is cold and dry.
People become more prone or susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections or sinusitis, which triggers asthma.
If you have a complaint of asthma, you must visit the best chest specialist in Lahore for its management.
Tips to manage asthma in winter
The following tips can help you in the management of asthma in winters.
Wash your hands
To protect yourself from bacteria and viruses that reside on your hands, and travel to your respiratory tract when you touch your eyes or nose, wash your hands with soap.
Make sure you properly wash your hands for at least twenty seconds before eating and touching your eyes, nose, and face. This technique helps contain germs, which can lead to respiratory tract infections, hence asthma exacerbation. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands.
According to experts, asthmatic people should get their annual flu shot at a designated time. It will not help in preventing asthma, but it will help in reducing the symptoms of flu. Make sure you do not get a nasal flu vaccine because it contains a live virus. If you are asthmatic, you should only get the injectable vaccine. Your healthcare provider may also ask you to get a vaccine for pneumonia as well, for extra protection in winter.
Avoid sitting by the fireplace
Sitting by the fireplace seems charming, but not so much for asthmatic people. According to researches, it has the same effect as that of smoking cigarettes. You think you are just surrounded by smoke and enjoying its warmth, but smoke is smoke. It is harmful to you, especially if you are asthmatic.
Breathe through nose, not mouth
In childhood hood, we were often asked to keep our mouths closed. Along with social grace, it is better for your lungs too. When you breathe cold air through your mouth, it directly goes into your respiratory tract and may exacerbate asthma. Whereas when you do that through the nose, it can turn it into warm and moist that does not trigger asthma. You can also wear a scarf or muffler over your mouth and nose to protect yourself from cold and dry air.
Doing your daily routine exercise outdoors, especially in winter, may seem amazing. A combo of chilly weather, and exercising without any sweat. But doing that may be hazardous for you, especially if you are asthmatic. Try to go to the gym or do that indoors to avoid the cold. If you still want to do that outdoor, then go in the midafternoon when the temperature is a bit high and easy to tolerate.
Wear proper clothing
Before going out in cold air, make sure you are dressed properly, even if you do not feel that cold. Sometimes you may not feel that cold, but it may cause asthma. Make a habit of wearing a sweater, jacket, coat along with a muffler, socks, and cap.
Take your inhaler as prophylaxis
While going out, make sure you take your inhaler for at least thirty minutes before. Since it is a bronchodilator, it keeps your bronchioles open and enables you to breathe. It will give you extra protection and will reduce your emergency visits to the hospital.
Have inhalers on the go
No matter where you are going or for how much time, make sure you have your rescue inhaler with you. You can keep it in your pocket, or your purse, but it should be with you as you carry your wallet. You never know when you may need to take it. Instead of panicking, you can keep calm if you have it on the go with you.
Take medicines on time
No matter how busy you are, your health should be your first priority. You must attend all the follow-up visits with your doctor. Moreover, keep taking medicines and inhalers as per their advice even if you feel good. If you will stop taking them on your own, it may cause a flare and become more difficult to treat.
Asthma is a chronic condition that needs the right management. To prevent its triggers, you need to take extra care of yourself or your loved ones, especially in winter, when the air is cold and dry. Make sure you keep taking the medicines and inhalers as per the advice of your healthcare provider. If you have a complaint of asthma exacerbation, consult with the best chest specialist in Karachi.