Do Air Conditioners Reduce Airborne Asthma Triggers
According to many studies, the answer is yes. However, they only benefit asthmatics if their filters are properly maintained.A 2011 study showed air conditioning reduces the impact of traffic pollution on children with asthma.1
Another 2011 study showed the benefits of central air conditioning on asthma. The article noted that 75% of U.S. households had ducted forced air heat. And 63% had ducted central air conditioning.” The study showed that both of these heating and cooling systems are great for filtering out airborne allergens. Examples include dust mites, animal dander, pollen, and mold spores. They also work great for filtering non-allergic asthma triggers, such as smoke from wood fires, smoke from cigarettes, and various forms of air pollutants.2
Avoid Winter Asthma Triggers
Asthma triggers can vary among individuals. The most common include mold, dust, pet dander and others. As you spend more time inside, you have more exposure to these common indoor allergens. The winter can also bring unique triggers, like smoke from a fire or a fresh Christmas tree in the living room.
Here are ways to limit your exposure to these triggers:
- Wash bedding in hot water once a week.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom.
- Have someone else dust and vacuum.
- Use allergen covers on mattresses and pillows.
How Can I Prevent Infections That Trigger Asthma
- Good hygiene can decrease viral infections. Prevent the spread of infection by making sure you and your family members wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water.
- Check with your health care provider about receiving a flu shot every year. In addition, discuss the possibility of getting a pneumococcus or pneumoniavaccine. Pneumococcus is a common cause of bacterial pneumonia, an illness that can be particularly serious in a person with asthma. Depending on your age and any risk factors you may have, you may need two different types of pneumonia vaccines.
- Sinusitis with asthma can be very serious. Be aware of the symptoms of a sinus infection and report them immediately to your doctor to prevent asthma attacks.
- Keep breathing equipment clean. Do not let others use your asthma medications or asthma treatment, including your asthma inhaler, asthma nebulizer, and nebulizer tubing and mouthpiece.
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Can Cold Air Cause An Asthma Attack
If your asthma is severe and cold air is a trigger, then you are at risk for an asthma attack in cold weather. Consult your Asthma Action Plan to manage asthma in cold weather. You should always seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.
To keep cold air from causing an asthma flare:
Is Cold Weather Bad For Asthma
Last reviewed: Medically reviewed
Cold weather can trigger asthma symptoms. In fact, its thought that around 75% of people with asthma in the UK say that cold air can bring on an attack, while 90% believe cold or flu viruses make symptoms of asthma worse.
So why is this, and what can you do to reduce your risk of a flare-up or asthma attack when the weather turns colder?
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What Are The 4 Categories Of Asthma
Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in the US. About 1 in 11 adults and 1 in 12 children have asthma. It affects people of every age, race and ethnicity. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing, particularly at night or in early morning. Asthma is chronic inflammatory disease which includes periodic exacerbations. Inflammation is the single most important factor related with the pathophysiology of asthma and results in airways hyperresponsiveness. Asthma may be triggered by certain factors, including respiratory tract infections, exercise, cold air, cigarette smoking, and allergens. The four categories of asthma are acute, exercise-induced, allergic, and intrinsic. Acute asthma is the most common type of asthma, and it is triggered by any factor that causes inflammation in the lung and bronchioles. Exercise-induced asthma refers to asthma triggered by exercise. Allergic asthma is caused by a type of hypersensitivity reaction to certain allergens, and extrinsic asthma is a rare form of asthma, which is triggered by environmental factors like cigarette smoke, cold air, or chemicals..
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Cold Weather Asthma Prevention Tips For Children
Children are more susceptible to asthma attacks as they may not be able to identify triggers or take the necessary precautions to prevent an attack. Apart from the steps mentioned above, here are a few tips you can use during winter to help children with asthma:
- Talk to your child about cold weather being an asthma trigger and explain the importance of keeping warm in winters.
- Show your child how to avoid triggers and how to put the right plan into action in the event of an attack.
- Teach your child to maintain good hygiene by demonstrating the proper way to wash hands to avoid respiratory infections.
- Discuss your childs condition with the school nurse and keep him/her updated about the medications your child is on.
- Make sure your child is always carrying reliever medication when stepping out.
Winters can be a difficult time for both adults and children who have asthma. While asthma is a long-term disease that cannot be cured yet, taking steps to avoid potential triggers and planning your activities will help prevent any sudden attacks. Also make sure to include foods like ginger, turmeric, and omega 3 fatty acids in your diet to benefit from their anti-inflammatory properties.
|Schachter, E. N., Elliot Lach, and M. Lee. The protective effect of a cold weather mask on exercised-induced asthma.Annals of allergy 46, no. 1 : 12-16.|
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What Are Asthma Triggers
Asthma triggers are things in your environment that cause worsening of asthma symptomsor asthma attacks. Triggers can be anywhere, and avoiding triggers that are under your control will help you be better prepared to deal with triggers that are more difficult to avoid like pollen, smog and viruses.
Triggers often bring on asthma attacks. It is important to avoid your triggers in order to keep airway inflammation to a minimum and reduce your asthma symptoms. Your personal triggers can be very different from those of another person with asthma. Knowing what your triggers are is an important part of managing your asthma.
Taking steps to ensure your asthma is properly managed is the key to living a symptom-free life. Speak with your healthcare provider about taking a controller medication, creating an Asthma Action Planand proper inhaler technique. Since some asthma triggers are impossible to avoid, its important to always carry your reliever medication with you just in case of a trigger causing an asthma attack.
Why Humidity And Cold Air Trigger Asthma
Every asthmatic should be aware that both humidity and cold air are two very common asthma triggers. So why is this? What can you do about it?
Its been common wisdom for years that a cool mist humidifier helps with croup, inflammation and narrowing of a childs airways. Put a croupy kid in the hot and steamy bathroom and the swelling gets better.
Another method that often works for croup is taking the child outside in the cold winter air. This is why many times when a parent decides to take the child to the hospital, in the dead of winter, the child is fine by the time they arrive in the emergency room.
This is true for croup, so it was also theorized in past decades that it must also be true for asthma attacks. Most doctors are aware of this fallacy. In fact, doctors recognize that both cold air and humidity can actually trigger an asthma attack.
When I was little boy way back in the 1970s, my pediatrician recommended my parents have me sit in the hot steamy bathroom when I was having trouble breathing. It was also recommended I have a humidifier in my room.
Both of these made my asthma worse, not better. Yet I was a kid, so how was I to tell my parents that? My doctor and parents thought they were doing something good, yet their wisdom was flawed .
I wrote a post before how low and high humidity can trigger asthma. Studies show that a humidity of 50 percent or greater may lead to a greater incidence of asthma trouble.
Two common theories for this are:
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Tips For Maintaining Asthma Control During The Hot Summer Months
Planning ahead is the key to maintaining asthma control in the fact of hot, humid or hot, dry weather. Here are a few tips that can make a difference:
- Stay as much as you can, where environmental conditions are more steady, especially if you have air conditioning. Try to limit outdoor times to early morning or after sunset, when temperatures are often more moderate.
- Watch the pollen and mold levels by checking local weather forecasts or using websites such as pollen.com. Stay indoors as much as you can when levels are high.
- Take your asthma and allergy medication as prescribed, including keeping your quick-relief inhaler on hand at all times.
- Drink plenty of cool water to keep yourself .
- Keep your Asthma Action Plan updated so you can respond to any slip in asthma control promptly.
With a little care and planning, you can prevent heat from becoming a significant factor when managing your asthma.
Asthma And Poor Circulation:
Poor circulation is a common symptom that occurs in people with chronic diseases and the most common cause of poor circulation is low CO2 in the arterial blood. Poor circulation is another classic symptom of over-breathing.
Asthma and Hypoxia:There are several causes that can lead to hyperventilation and one of them is Hypoxia. Hyperventilation and mountain sickness are connected.
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In Summary How Do I Handle Extreme Temperatures
The right balance in core body temperature of between 36 oC and 38 oC is essential for helping to balance the lung functionality. Once the temperature drops below or above these core temperatures, then it may result in coughing as the body tries to remove the irritants which are causing the airway walls to become dried out and agitated. Sadly, this is either the hot dry air, or the cold dry air which we are breathing, and it may result in consistent coughing.
The best way to handle this to breath through the nose and/or have a barrier like a clothing which can help hydrate and heat or cool the air before it enters the lungs.
How Caffeine Can Affect Asthma
In 2010, I started writing about asthmas history. This was when I was introduced to Dr. Henry Hyde Salter. He was the doctor of Teddy Roosevelt during the 1870s when the former President was a child asthmatic. He wrote a book called, On Asthma. It was the most well-respected book on asthma during the second half of the 19th century. So, whatever Dr. Salter believed about asthma became the gold standard.1
He had many hypotheses about asthma, the most famous of which was that asthma was a nervous disorder. He also believed that asthma was brought on by sleep. He had already heard about caffeine as an asthma remedy from his many asthma patients. He speculated that it worked for asthma because of its stimulant effect. He wrote:1
For, what are the physiological effects of coffee? They consist in the production of a state of mental activity and vivacity, of acuteness of perception and energy of volition, well known to those who have experienced it, and to a certain extent very pleasurable, and which is the very reverse of that abeyance of will and perception which, in drowsiness or sleep, so favors the development of asthma.
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Excess Hot In The Body Dehydration And Asthma:
Dehydration and asthma connection is a big medical mystery. Research today seeks to uncover some of the mystery around the illness. 75 percent of the population has some degree of dehydration, significant enough to affect their health. Asthma attacks are often linked to airborne allergens, respiratory infections, exercise, cold air that enters the lungs, stress, and acid reflux gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Finally: Learn How To Control Asthma By Taking Your Doctors Advice
Theres no substitute for professional medical help. Your asthma and its triggers are specific to you, so make sure to visit your doctor or asthma nurse regularly to review any medications you are on and to keep your asthma plan up-to-date. Carry your inhaler with you at all times.
For more useful tips, read our article: Is Your Indoor Air Worsening Your Asthma?
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Tips To Handle Asthma Attacks During Winter
If you have asthma, you know how difficult winter time can be, but it doesnt have to be that way. Here are some tips to help you handle asthma attacks during the winter.
- Wash your hands: This ensures you do not spread or contract colds, which can make asthma much worse.
- Get the flu shot: Likewise, you will want to protect yourself against the flu as well.
- Dont sit closely to fireplaces: Inhaling smoke can make breathing even harder.
- Keep your mouth closed: Breathing from your nose instead of your mouth will reduce the amount of cold air that can get into your lungs and cause an asthma attack.
- Replace filters: Ensure filters in home heating devices and air filtrations are clean.
- Exercise indoors: Also remember to warm up before working out.
- Take preventative steps against asthma flare-ups: Take your medication prior to going outside, at least 30 minutes before or as directed by your doctor.
- Have an action plan: Even if you follow these tips, an asthma attack can still occur, so have a plan to recognize the symptoms, have the appropriate medications on hand and know when to call your doctor or emergency persons.
- Take your medications: Even though any time of the year you should be following your asthma regime, it is more important in the winter to help prevent serious complications.
What Causes Asthma Symptoms To Flare Up
Asthma symptom triggers may not be the same for every person who suffers from the disease, but common triggers include:
- Air pollution
- Stress & Anxiety
Once you recognize the factors that trigger your asthma symptoms, it is important to avoid them whenever possible. If you live in an area that is full of environmental pollutants, you may want to consider the possibility of moving to an area with cleaner air. Additionally, consider getting an air purifier for your home, as they can help cleanse the air of potential environmental triggers associated with asthma.
If you currently smoke, you should do everything you can to stop the habit before it makes your asthma symptoms even worse. If you want to learn how to live a life with less asthma flair-ups, you should do everything you can to avoid your personal triggers and take the necessary medication to manage your symptoms.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Cold
Cold symptoms often begin with throat discomfort or sore throat. That discomfort is followed by clear, watery nasal discharge sneezing fatigue and sometimes a slight fever. Postnasal drip from your nose and sinuses can cause you to have a cough.
For the first few days of a cold, your nose is filled with watery nasal secretions. These secretions may become thicker and darker. Dark mucus does not necessarily mean that you have developed a bacterial infection. However, since a cold may trigger your asthma, be especially watchful for symptoms.
- Chest tightness
Cold Weather And Asthma
Cold weather is a common trigger for asthma symptoms.
There are things you can do to help control your symptoms in the cold:
- carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times and keep taking your regular preventer inhaler as prescribed
- if you need to use your inhaler more than usual, speak to your doctor about reviewing your treatment
- keep warm and dry wear gloves, a scarf and a hat, and carry an umbrella
- wrap a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth this will help warm up the air before you breathe it
- try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth your nose warms the air as you breathe
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Understanding Cold Weather And Asthma Symptoms
Individuals with asthma have bronchial tubes that are sensitive, triggered by things such as cold air. When the outdoor temperature drops and you inhale cold air, it can irritate the lining of your airways and cause symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
For people with asthma, wintertime can trigger flare-ups more so than other seasons. Cold air can cause symptoms especially when itâs dry and accompanied by windy conditions. Typically, the more severe your asthma, the higher the likelihood that cold air will trigger symptoms for you.