For people suffering from asthma, winter can be the most stressful time of the year since cold weather has the tendency to worsen the condition. It causes difficulty in breathing, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. If not kept in check it can certainly worsen the quality of your life. But luckily a few preventive measures can go a long way in warding off asthma flares. Here are some useful tips to keep away asthma attacks this winter season-
Breathe through the nose
Did you know that breathing through the mouth can aggravate your asthma? So, while going out in the cold it is beneficial for your health if you breathe through the nose. When you use your nose to breathe, the air warms up while traveling through it and converts to your appropriate body temperature. To further warm up the air you breathe, you can also cover your face with a scarf or muffler when you go out.
Take time out for exercise
Exercise boosts your immunity and strengthens your heart and lungs. That is why you should start exercising for at least half an hour every day, at least during the winter months. Practicing yoga is also a great way to prevent the onslaught of diseases like flu that can trigger asthma attacks. But when the temperature is too cold outside, it is better to work out indoors to prevent the risk of catching a cold. Make sure the indoors are well ventilated.
Wash your hands
Getting out, using public transport can make you susceptible to winter colds and flu. Since flu bacteria can get transmitted through your hands, remind yourself to wash your hands with a good antibacterial hand wash at regular intervals throughout the day. Teach your children the importance of hand-washing to reduce their chances of catching cold and other viruses. Also, carry a hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes in your bag while going out in public places.
Take preventive measures
As the saying goes, prevention is indeed better than cure, especially when it comes to tackling your asthma. If you can’t avoid going out in the cold, then take a preventive dose of your asthma medication before heading out. Use a bronchodilator at least half an hour before going out. You inhaler opens up your airways to give you the desired protection, so carry it with you every time you head out in the cold. Don’t forget to take your daily medication even when you’re feeling fine. Getting a flu shot is also advised.
Keep your home clean and humidified
Dry air can provoke asthma, so keeping a humidifier in the room is a must in winter. The humidity or moisture level in the room should be somewhere between 30 and 45 percent. However, do keep in mind that too much moisture can lead to mold formation which is also not good for the asthma. So the trick is to keep your home clean, well vacuumed and optimally humidified.
Along with proper knowledge and resources, these effective tips can go a long way in combating asthma attacks during winter. So asthma sufferers, you can now heave a sigh of relief and enjoy the winter season like the rest.