Why You Also Need To Up Your Hydration
If youre already someone who is prone toward dehydration , Dr. Allan recommends a few simple steps.
Increasing your fluid intake is always good, Dr. Allan says. The other way to treat it from the inside is to take omega-3 supplements. That can help normalize the fat in your skin cells, which helps keep the moisture trapped, and helps keep the oils on the surface of your skin.
Other tips for guarding against dry winter skin include:
Triggers For Winter Asthma
A trigger is something that causes you to have an asthma attack. This can vary from person-to-person, but common triggers include pets and pet dander, dust and mold and cold, dry air. When a person with asthma encounters a trigger it becomes more difficult for them to breathe and can lead to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty catching your breath.
In the winter time, cold air can be a trigger for asthma. Not only does cold air trigger asthma symptoms, but it is also related to many upper respiratory infections that can be far worse in individuals with asthma.
The many ways in which cold air affects our breathing include:
- Cold air reduces the effectiveness of the mucus transport whose responsibility is to trap particles and organisms so they do not enter the lungs. Cold air causes mucus to become thicker, making it harder to remove dangerous particles.
- Cold air affects the nose by once again causing mucus to become thicker, making it difficult to breath and leading to nasal congestion and stuffiness.
- When cold air enters the lungs they release histamines, which leads to wheezing this is worse in asthma sufferers.
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Beware: These Cold Weather Irritants Can Trigger An Asthma Attack
The changing of leaves signals the onset of fall and fall-like weather which indicates colder weather is around the corner. Its not uncommon to feel flu-like symptoms or even develop a cold with this change. Its also not uncommon for asthma suffers to start experiencing difficulties. This dip in temperature generally affects those who are asthmatic more since cold, dry air restricts airways that trigger an asthma attack.
A cold-weather asthma attack happens when your respiratory tract is irritated from colder temperatures. When the airway muscle spasms, it makes asthma symptoms difficult to control.
If youre not careful, youll find yourself needing to wait until springtime before you can enjoy the outdoors again without the anxiety of having an attack.
Approximately 25 million Americans have asthma or 1 in 13, with more adult women reportedly living with asthma than their male counterparts. Those who live with asthma may find themselves much more susceptible to an unprovoked asthma attack if theyre not careful of certain irritants.
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Exercise Tips For Asthmatics During Winter Season
Exercise is very important for health, even if you have asthma. If you have asthma and still want to enjoy outdoor exercising in the winter, follow these tips.
- Ensure your mouth is covered, either with a neck scarf, ski mask, or turtle neck. Ensure your nose is also kept warm and that youre inhaling warm air as stated, inhaling cold air can lead to congestion.
- If it is very cold or there is a weather alert, avoid exercising or even shoveling the snow outdoors, this can be a risky time if you have asthma and it is more likely you will experience an attack.
Generally, for asthmatics, exercise should take place indoors during the winter, but even so there are some tips to help you better prevent an asthma attack.
- Ensure heating filters are changed.
- Use a humidifier in the room where you exercise indoor heat can be dry and irritate the lungs.
- Ensure the area is clean and dust-free.
Breathing Through Your Mouth
Breathing is automatic so you will need to pay attention to how you breathe. When you breathe in frosty air through your mouth, it doesnt warm up in your nasal passages which irritate the respiratory system. Its natural and healthier to breathe through your nose because it helps your body effectively use the air being inhaled.
Nose breathing also filters out foreign particles, humidify inhaled air and produces nitric oxide, a vasodilator, which means it helps to widen blood vessels. This helps improve oxygen circulation in your body.
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Avoid The Triggers You Can Control
Be aware of your usual triggers that might coincide with hot weather cigarette smoke, bushfires and pollen in particular. Air pollution and ozone levels can trigger asthma symptoms in some people with asthma.
Keep an eye on the weather alerts for high pollution or high ozone days. On days of high pollution or ozone, or when there is bushfire smoke, try to stay indoors with the doors and windows closed. Also try to do as little outdoor activity as possible, especially later in the day. If your asthma symptoms do start, act promptly to stop it turning into an asthma attack.
Are Dehumidifiers Good For Asthma
ByMeg Walters28 September 2021
There’s nothing worse than struggling for breath. So, are dehumidifiers good for asthma, or is it just another urban myth?
Whether you’re the type of person who loves the heat, or you thrive in colder temperatures, when the air gets humid in the summer, we can all find ourselves struggling to breathe normally. Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air. When humidity levels reach over 50%, we tend to suffer from the heat more than usual, as the moisture in the air prevents our sweat, the body’s cooling mechanism, from evaporating.
Because high humidity can be so uncomfortable, especially in hot temperatures, many families invest in a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity levels in their homes. Dehumidifiers use a fan to essentially suck excess moisture out of the air and release drier air back into the room, thereby rebalancing your home’s humidity levels.
While most people use dehumidifiers to make their homes feel a little cooler and fresher in the summer, you may be surprised to learn that the machines can also be useful for people with asthma. Today, we’ll be discussing how dehumidifiers can help to ease the symptoms of asthma and why, along with some tips on how to use a dehumidifier to breathe a little easier when things get humid.
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Respiratory Issues And Conditions
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, breathing dry air causes the airways to constrict. As a result, affected individuals may start to develop symptoms of shortness of breath in a process known as “bronchoconstriction.”
The CDC states that this effect is typically more severe in young people who already have respiratory illness or issues like asthma. Dry air can act as a significant asthma trigger in sensitive individuals.
Constriction of breathing caused by dry air in the room can lead to the following symptoms.
- Wheezing and coughing.
- Blue lips and redness or a blue-ting to the extremities.
The Impact Of Heat On Asthma
There are a number of reasons why people like you and me, people with asthma, don’t love summer heat. Everyone’s asthma is different, and whether you have an allergic type of asthma vs. non-allergic, can also have an effect.
Some people are more affected by hot, humid air, while others feel the impact more from hot, dry air. Or, it could just be the extreme changes in environmental conditions that make the biggest effect. 1 For example, moving from a hot, humid day outside into a cool, air-conditioned building. Some people might welcome the relief, while asthmatics might experience an asthma attack as a result of the radical difference in air temperature.
It’s not that heat triggers any different asthma symptoms. It’s just that it can make what you’re already dealing with even worse. The question is, why does heat affect some of us in this way?
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Shifting Window Frames And Doors
If you have hardwood door frames and doors, you can expect the same warping issues as you get with your flooring.
You might find that the door starts to loosely fit into the frame, causing cold drafts to pass through the gaps. The warping of the door may also make it harder to open and close the door.
Winter Weather Advisory Cold Air And Asthma
Dry and/or cold air is a trigger for airway narrowing and can be a weather-related asthma trigger. When you breathe in cold, dry air through your mouth, the air doesnt get warmed by your nose first. The cold air goes to your lungs and airways. This can trigger an asthma attack. Breathing through your mouth is more likely when you exercise or exert yourself such as shoveling snow or skiing.
Follow these steps for reducing your chances of having asthma symptoms triggered by cold air:
- Wear a scarf or face mask over your mouth.
- If you normally exercise outdoors, consider an indoor sport for the winter, like swimming or basketball.
- If you do need to be outdoors in cold weather, you may need to use your quick-relief inhaler before you go outdoors. Talk with your doctor about a pretreatment plan.
- Always carry your quick-relief inhaler with you and protect it from cold temperatures.
Knowing how to manage your asthma can reduce missed work days, reduce or prevent hospitalizations and allow you to do more of the activities you enjoy. Learn more about managing your asthma with our free ASTHMA Care for Adults program today.
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How To Increase Humidity
Instead of packing your bags and leaving Alberta, there are some things you can do to increase humidity and help your asthma symptoms.
Breathe Through Your Nose
Youve probably been told as a child to not breathe through your mouth. Beyond the annoyance it can cause to those around you, it is actually a great way to keep the moisture inside your body. It aids in keeping the fluid along your airways lined.
Track the Weather
If youre thinking of spending some time outdoors, keep an eye on the humidity levels before making plans. Try to arrange outdoor activities when humidity levels are highest.
Working out, in general, can trigger asthmatic symptoms. This is even truer if you are running or working outside. Try to stick to a gym or at-home workout routine to avoid this.
Buy a Humidifier
You will want to be sure you are frequently changing the filter, but having a humidifier in your home can do wonders for your asthma in an otherwise dry climate like Alberta.
As most of us know, Alberta is known for its dry air. If youre looking for help on how to combat that, contact Advanced Respiratory Care Network today!
Can Dry Air Negatively Impact Your Health
Our bodies need a certain amount of water each day to survive. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, that amount is about 97 to 125 fluid ounces. Without enough water, the balance of your body fluids can be thrown off, causing a variety of potentially serious side effects. Just like not drinking enough water, an inadequate amount of moisture in the air can have negative impacts on your health. The primary health effects associated with dry air exposure include:
Respiratory conditions: The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America warns that dry air can cause the airways in your body to narrow and close up, making it difficult to breathe . According to the CDC, the effect is often more severe in people with asthma, as dry air is a known asthma trigger. This constriction of the airways can cause the following symptoms, according to the Utah Department of Health:
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Why Does Humidity Affect Asthma
Humidity likely causes asthma symptoms because it triggers bronchoconstriction, which is a narrowing of the airways.
Bronchoconstriction may occur because hot, humid air activates C fibers, which are sensory nerve fibers in the airways. Stimulation of C fibers may narrow the airways and stimulate coughing, which makes it difficult to breathe.
High humidity levels create the perfect breeding ground for mold and dust mites, which often trigger asthma. Higher levels of humidity may also increase air pollution. For example, ozone, which is an air pollutant, rises when humidity levels increase.
Increased levels of humidity also often mean higher temperatures. The highest humidity levels usually occur during the summer months. The combination of heat and humidity can irritate the airways making breathing more difficult.
While it is not possible to control the weather and humidity levels outdoors, people can manage humidity-related asthma symptoms by:
Symptoms Of Dry Air In House
In case you didnt know, there are many symptoms of dry air in house. People can get sick if their air is too dry. They can also suffer from various ailments. That is why the use of a humidifier can help relieve viruses such as those that trigger the cold or flu. When people experience symptoms from dry air, it is because the dryness affects the nose and throat. If your throat feels scratchy, you may simply need to add a humidifier to the room.
Understanding Humidity Levels
To understand how people can get sick or experience irritation from dry air, you need to know something about humidity levels or define humidity. Humidity is the amount of water vapor that is recorded in the air. In the home environment, humidity is termed as relative humidity and is expressed as a percent.
The standard advised relative humidity for a comfortable air quality is around 40%. Relative humidity below that translates into dry air. Any level over 50% means that mold and bacteria grow more easily. When scientists measure humidity, they use a device known as a hygrometer. Laypeople can also pick up this product at their local home centers or hardware retailers. By using a hygrometer and purchasing a humidifier, you can maintain the preferred moisture level in your home.
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Weather Changes And Asthma
From high heat and humidity levels in the summer, to cold, dry air in the winter, the weather can have an impact on your asthma. Limiting your exposure to extreme weather will help keep your asthma symptoms under control.
While the weather can be unpredictable, you can stay prepared. Understand how and why specific weather conditions affect your asthma symptoms, and how to navigate the season while minimizing your flare-ups.
Did you know?
In the fall of 2016, strong thunderstorms in Australia reportedly caused a number of asthma attacks that resulted in over 8,000 emergency room visits in Melbourne.
How Air Conditioners Cause Asthma
Many physicians have come out to warn people against spending long hours in air-conditioned rooms to avoid triggering asthma attacks. As your air conditioner operates, it blows the small particles in the air which you later inhale unknowingly. Continuous running of the HVAC system triggers the growth of mold on surfaces of the home and subsequently leading to allergies, pneumonia and other respiratory infections.
It is worth noting that regular HVAC maintenance is significant. A clean and sufficiently running AC ensure that air being blown is cold and fresh. Humidity control, proper filtration and adequate ventilation all contribute to healthy indoor air quality.
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Why Can Cold Air Trigger Asthma
People with asthma have airways that are more sensitive, and prone to inflammation. Cold air can lead to dryness in the airways, the tightening of the muscles around the airways and impair the normal function of the airways to clear inhaled substances. All of this can lead to an increase in asthma symptoms.
In Australia, we are generally used to breathing warm, humid air which is what our lungs need to stay vital and healthy and clear debris that we breathe in.
Cold and dry air conditions make it harder for our lungs to do the things it needs to in order to make our breathing easy and keep us healthy.
Humidity And Cold Air
Humidity and cold air can be a problem when they occur together. Because both humidity and cold air improve the symptoms of croup, many parents have also thought the practices may also be good for asthma. However, both of these can be asthma triggers.
Humid air is more likely to harbor triggers such as fungus, molds, and dust mites that might worsen your asthma symptoms. When you inhale cold, dry air, it irritates and drys out the mucous membranes that line your lungs and respiratory system. This decreases the effectiveness of your body’s natural defense mechanisms against viruses and bacteria. As a result, you may have an increased risk of a respiratory infection that can worsen your asthma. Similarly, this can worsen allergy symptoms that are another common trigger for asthma .
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How Does The Humidity Affect Asthma
Many asthmatics can feel a humid day coming on. As the humidity rises, they might start to have some coughing and shortness of breath. When the humidity begins going over 60 percent, thats when people tend to start feeling it the most. But, not only is the weather itself causing asthmatics issues, but the higher humidity is also a cause for things like smog and other air pollutants like ozone and car exhaust.
This is why you will often hear about the Air Quality Index and warnings to stay inside when the air quality is at certain unhealthier levels. In addition to the air quality though, is the fact that the higher humidity is a breeding ground for mold and dust mites which also tend to irritate the lungs. And, on top of all that, the pollen levels will tend to go up causing those with allergic asthma to have their allergies and asthma go haywire.
Dont be fooled into believing that high humidity is the only thing to look out for though. The cold/dry air can also cause your asthma to flare up. Cold air naturally acts to shrink your airways. And, this is what causes the asthma flare in the first place.
If you typically have exercise-induced asthma, you will find that the more you huff and puff to rapidly breathe in during the cold, the more likely you are to have a flare. This is because you are breathing rapidly and also end up inhaling through your mouth which makes the air more dry and colder than usual.