Wisconsin winters are tough for everyone. But for those who have asthma, the winter can, literally, take your breath away. Here are some tips for how to reduce a flare-up during the winter months.
Breathe through your nose
When you breathe through your nose the air warms before it reaches your lungs.
Cover your mouth when outside
Wear a scarf or other cover over your mouth and nose when you’re outside to help warm the air that you breathe.
Keep your home free of dust, dander and mold. You’ll also want to replace filters in your furnace to keep your air free of dirt and dust that irritates your lungs.
Wash your hands
Make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when you don’t have access to a sink. Also, keep your hands away from your face. That’s how cold and flu viruses are shared.
Get a flu shot
People with asthma are more likely to experience flu-related complications if they get the flu. The shot is a good way to help protect yourself.
When the temperature drops, move your exercise activities indoors. The air in your home or a gym is likely to be more humid and better for breathing than the cold air outside.
Use a humidifier
Even indoors, the air can be dry, so a humidifier may help ease breathing. Just be sure the reservoirs and filters are clean.
If you’ve tried these and still have a difficult time managing flare-ups, it’s important to work with your allergist
to develop a plan.