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Why Does My Asthma Get Worse In Winter

Ragweed Pollen Is Being Spread

Why does my asthma get worse in the spring and fall?

Just like spring, autumn is an allergy season. In the case of the fall months, ragweed pollen is the main culprit. Ragweed is distributed widely in the United States and is responsible for giving even people without asthma severe allergic reactions. If you suffer from asthma, ragweed pollen can irritate your respiratory system and make your symptoms worse. Some people even suffer from both asthma and ragweed allergies.

What Can You Do

If your asthma gets worse in the fall, there are several steps you can take. One major way to protect yourself is to ask or hire someone to take care of your fall lawn cleanup, since that will prevent you from being exposed to some of the worse autumn irritants. You should also try to limit your exposure to ragweed by avoiding spending too much time outdoors. If possible, try to keep a change of clothes handy so that you can quickly change when you come home. Pollen can accumulate on your clothes and shoes while youre outside, then bother you in your home later as a result.

To keep yourself breathing comfortably at home, a residential air purifier is the best solution. A good air purifier can remove mold spores, ragweed pollen and even smoke and ash from leaf fires. If dry air is bothering you, a small humidifier can also be a good way to keep your symptoms under control.

Have questions about using air purifiers or humidifiers to keep your asthma symptoms from getting worse in the fall? Were here to help. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, and well help you pick out the perfect air purification system for your needs.

Why Does Asthma Get Worse In The Winter

“Asthma is an inflammatory condition made worse by triggers that make your airways oversensitive,” explains Dr Jeff Foster, medical director at H3 Health. “Walking from a hot room to the cold air outside can make asthma worse – it triggers your smaller airways to tighten as they try not to let that nasty cold air deep into the lungs. However, the asthmatic lung inappropriately tightens, which can trigger an attack.”

Cold air can also prompt the airways to produce histamine – the same hormone released during allergic reactions – which can trigger a bout of wheezing. In addition, the body is likely to ramp up its production of mucus, in an attempt to create a warm environment and filter the air entering the lungs.

“An increase in mucus can make asthma feel worse,” says Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Chemist Click. “Colds, flu, and chest infections are also more prevalent during the colder months. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, cough, inflamed airways, and a general increase in mucus production, all of which can exacerbate symptoms of asthma.”

Staying in all the time may not help either. Just being in a centrally heated house can be bad for asthma, as the heating dries out the natural moisture in the air, making it harder to breathe. Conversely, damp and mouldy environments produce spores, which can trigger asthma symptoms.

How to handle asthma during the winter months

  • 2min

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Leaf Cleanup Is Going On

Fall leaf cleanup is a chore that almost all households have to deal with. If you have asthma, though, leaf cleanup can be a real problem. Fallen leaves often have mold growing on them if theyre wet, while very dry ones will produce leaf dust. In either event, leaf cleanup can worsen your asthma symptoms. It doesnt help if you live near someone who burns leaves, as ash and smoke from fires can also trigger asthma attacks.

What Else Should I Know About Cold Air And Asthma

Why does my childs asthma get worse in the winter ...

Every persons asthma is different. If cold weather triggers your asthma symptoms, you should treat it as you would any other flare-up.

Monitor the weather and try to stay inside on the very coldest days. Wear a scarf or face mask if you must go out. Guard your health so a virus doesnt cause an asthma flare-up. Humidify the air indoors to the level that makes your breathing most comfortable.

Follow your doctors direction for medication use. If you are prescribed an inhaler or other medication to manage your asthma, dont skip using it when youre feeling fine. Always follow the plan you have in place to avoid unnecessary flare-ups.

  • Make sure all your prescriptions are current. Refill if needed.
  • Your Asthma Action Plan should include how to handle asthma when you have no symptoms, if symptoms begin, and if they become severe. Be prepared for all eventualities.
  • Keep a notebook to write down notes whenever symptoms worsen. This could shed light on new or old triggers. Keep track of your medication usage your doctor will appreciate a big-picture view.

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How To Handle Cold

The combination of these triggers can spell trouble for someone with asthma, says , an immunologist who studies asthma and works in the immunology department at the UW School of Medicine.

Pepper also has two daughters, Lucy and Izzy, who have suffered from asthma. Shes seen how their symptoms sometimes worsen in the cold.

Recently, Izzy had a cold it was probably some minor virus, but I could see it was starting to tighten up her lungs, Pepper says.

If you or your childs asthma symptoms flare up in cold weather, handle it as you would during any other season: Set up a detailed asthma plan with your primary care provider. For Peppers daughter, this means having both control and rescue inhalers handy. Make sure your child knows to alert you if their symptoms worsen. Symptoms include things like shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing if symptoms are more severe, people may have trouble talking or sleeping and should immediately seek medical help.

Common Questions About Cold Weather Asthma

Here are a few of the most common questions people have about cold weather asthma and winter asthma triggers.

1. Can asthma be triggered by cold weather?

Temperature and humidity seem to exacerbate asthma symptoms. Cold, dry air is a common asthma trigger and can cause issues for those whoplay outdoor winter sports. Take precautions and talk to your physician about using an inhaler or taking other medicines to manage cold weather asthma.

2. What helps asthma in cold weather?

There are several things you can do to minimize the impact of winter asthma triggers. Get the flu shot and avoid contact with anyone showing signs of a respiratory virus. Dont sit by awood-burning fireplace. Replace your HVAC filters frequently. Exercise indoors and avoid prolonged activity outside in colder weather. Finally, consider using aportable spirometer to monitor lung health.

3. How cold is too cold for asthma?

According to medical experts, people with cold-weather asthma should avoid going outdoors when the temperature falls below 10°F.

4. Is asthma worse in winter?

Asthma is a chronic condition that does not go away. However, asthma triggers differ from person to person. For those with cold-weather asthma, cold dry air can irritate their airways and cause bronchial spasms. There is also an increased risk of contracting a respiratory virus during the winter. A cold orflu can make asthma more difficult to manage.

5. Is cold or hot air better for asthma?

What is Aluna?

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Cover Your Mouth And Nose When Walking Outside

You cant always help the need to walk around in cold or inclement weather, especially living in New Jersey. But do yourself a favor and keep the worst of the cold air out of your breathing passages with a scarf. If scarves arent your style, try to wear a sweater you can pull up over your nose when outside.

What Does The Flu Have To Do With My Childs Asthma

Asthma Australia – How cold dry air affects your asthma

Influenza is on the top of our mind in the winter, especially for kids with asthma. In fact, asthma is the most common medical condition among children who are hospitalized with the flu according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

Because people with asthma often have swollen, sensitive airways, they are more likely to develop serious health complications such as pneumonia if they do come down with the flu. Plus, the influenza virus in the lungs can trigger asthma symptoms even if their asthma is mild or symptoms are well-controlled by medication.

Here are two ways you can help prevent your child from getting the flu:

Wash hands frequently.Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses. It is by far the best way to keep kids from getting sick. Teach your children how to wash their hands properly with soap and water to help stop the spread of germs. Even when kids follow proper hand hygiene, itâs best to encourage them to keep their hands away from their face.

Get the flu shot.If your child has asthma and gets the flu, the illness could be much worse for them. They best way to protect them from this is to get the flu shot. The flu shot is safe and effective. Although there is no guarantee that the vaccine will prevent 100 percent of flu symptoms, it can limit the severity and duration of the infection. It may even reduce the chances your child will need to be hospitalized due to the virus.

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When Should You Seek Medical Treatment

Its important to know when your symptoms may be beyond your care. Seek medical treatment if your symptoms feel out of control and no longer within self-help range. Some warning signs may also be if you experience a new cough, produce a lot of phlegm, or have a fever higher than 101 F.

If you feel that youre experiencing an asthma emergency or symptoms beyond your control, seek immediate care.

Pre-treatment can go a long way in preventing asthma flare-ups, says Dr. Canfield. If one does feel like their asthma is out of control, contacting the doctor is a good idea because the symptoms can go from bad to worse.

Cold Air And Asthma = Winter Asthma

News, Asthma

Does cold weather affect asthma?Absolutely! Cold weather is a common asthma trigger. Wintertime can be a potentially dangerous time of year for many people with asthma.

To understand your triggers, picture your bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs, as branches on a tree. A person with asthma has a certain amount of inflammation in these airways all the time. Inflammation causes them to narrow and makes it harder for air to get to the lungs. This is why people with asthma have a harder time breathing even if theyre not having a flare-up.

Changes in weather and fluctuations in temperature are known to inflame airways and trigger asthma flares. For people with bronchial tubes that are already inflamed, the impact of cold weather on breathing can be significant.

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Being Prepared For Triggers Can Help Keep Flare

Flare-up: Asthma symptoms can get worse in the colder weather

Liz Connor

It’s believed around 5.5 million people in the UK and Ireland are currently receiving treatment for asthma, and the charity Asthma UK says it’s not uncommon for asthma symptoms to get worse over the festive season.

Looking after your respiratory health is important at any time of the year – and especially so this winter, with the ongoing spread of Covid-19 to factor in too.

Why does asthma get worse in winter?

Asthma can be harder to control during winter months for a few reasons. Ruth Morrow, a respiratory nurse specialist from the Asthma Society of Ireland says people often find their unwelcome asthma symptoms flaring up at this time of year, because there are more triggers lurking around.

“Changes to the temperature and cold air are a very common trigger for people with asthma and they can affect the airways, causing them to narrow,” says Morrow.

Then there’s all those cold and flu viruses going around.

A cold or respiratory tract infection can exacerbate symptoms for people with asthma.

How can I relieve asthma symptoms this winter?

There are a few things people with asthma can do to keep themselves as healthy as possible through winter.

1. Manage your asthma properly

“To do this, you should take your medication as prescribed, and carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times,” Morrow says.

2. Dress for the chilly weather

3. Crank up the heating

4. Take your workouts indoors

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What About Winter Sports

Asthma in winter  why it gets worse and what to do

Participating in winter sports can also be very challenging with asthma. When someone exercises they tend to breathe more deeply through their mouth instead of their nose. When your child breathes through their nose, the air gets warmed and moistened by their airways before reaching the lungs. Instead, when they breathe through their mouth, the air remains cold and dry, which can act as an asthma trigger.

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How To Handle Asthma During The Winter Months

Many people with asthma find their symptoms get worse in the winter months. So how can asthma be managed as the days get colder, and what can you do to avoid triggers?

Reviewed byDr Sarah Jarvis MBE
15-Nov-21·6 mins read

It’s natural to feel a bit of trepidation as winter approaches. As the days get colder, darker and gloomier, many of us would secretly prefer to hunker down and hide away till spring.

However, if you suffer with asthma you may be feeling this more than most. Many people find their asthma symptoms get worse during the colder months, meaning you might be dealing with irritated airways on top of all the usual seasonal bugs and wintertime blues.

Although not all asthma sufferers have the same triggers, a seasonal pattern to your asthma is very common. A 2014 study found that hospital admissions for asthma increased during the winter months, while some research from Asthma UK found that December and January are the deadliest months for people with asthma.

Even if your symptoms aren’t too severe, you may find the seasonal change affects your quality of life. In one study from chilly Sweden, two thirds of asthma patients said the cold was a factor in causing breathing difficulties, while over a third avoided going out during the winter.

Why Does My Asthma Get Worse In Winter

Home& gt& gtWhy does my asthma get worse in winter?

People with asthma can react to cold air and become susceptible to viruses and flu, which can bring on asthma symptoms.

We understand the management of your asthma can be challenging and sometimes complicated. We also know winter can be a difficult, tiring, and frustrating season for people with asthma. But having good asthma control means fewer asthma flare-ups, doctor visits, time off work, and hospitalisations.

So, as we head into winter, here are five actions you can take to help be asthma-ready for winter.

Read Also: Can Weed Help With Asthma

Consider Moving Your Workout Indoors

If you normally exercise outdoors, consider switching your routine. And if you cant resist that jog around the park, head out during the warmest part of the day.

Whats more, If you have exercise-induced asthma, your doctor may prescribe an inhaled bronchodilator that contains albuterol, that you will use about 30 minutes before exercising outside, Dr. Berger says. Those symptoms can be even worse when you work out in cold air.

What Can Trigger My Asthma In Winter

Winter Tips for asthma and lung health – Dec 2020

Everyone with asthma has their own mix of triggers. Here are some common winter triggers and easy ways you can deal with them.

Colds and flu

Colds and flu are a top winter trigger, with 75% of people with asthma saying their symptoms get worse when they have a cold or the flu.

As well as remembering to take your preventer inhaler as prescribed, you can also protect yourself against colds and flu by:

  • washing your hands often

See our colds and flu page for more tips on how to reduce your risk of catching a cold or the flu if you have asthma.

Chest infections

Chest infections are more common in winter and if you have asthma, you may be more at risk of getting one. Chest infections can also make your asthma symptoms worse, as they inflame your airways.

One of the things you can do to reduce your risk of getting a chest infection is to try to protect yourself from colds and flu.

Cold or damp air

You might notice that your asthma symptoms get worse when its cold. Dont worry, youre not alone. Cold air is dry, which irritates your airways. It can also make you produce more mucus, which can make your asthma feel worse.

If cold air affects your asthma, there are plenty of ways you can protect your airways from the cold, including wrapping a lightweight scarf loosely around your nose and mouth when outside. This warms the air you breathe in, so its less likely to irritate your airways.

Damp and mould

Weve got more tips on what to do if youve got damp or mould in your home.

Also Check: Is Asthma Considered A Lung Disease

Why Is Cold Weather Hard On People With Asthma

  • Wild weather: Winter often brings rain, wind and fluctuations in air pressure, even for those in mild climates. Rainy and windy weather can stir up mold spores and barometric pressure changes can trigger sinusitis. These can also cause asthma flare-ups.
  • Illnesses: Colds, flu and viruses are common in winter and can lead to more inflammation of your airways. Such illnesses thicken the mucus in bronchial tubes and make it harder to breathe. This can worsen symptoms or cause asthma flare-ups.
  • Time spent indoors: When the weather is cold, you may stay inside longer with the windows closed and the heat on. And you may be exposed to more indoor allergens, irritants and respiratory viruses. For example, you could be at risk for an asthma flare if your symptoms are triggered by dust, mold or pet dander, or cigarette smoke if theres a smoker in the house.


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