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Winter Weather Advisory – Asthma, Cold Air, and Exercise

November 28, 2018

Triggers

Cold air can sometimes trigger an asthma episode. If cold, dry air passes into your mouth instead of being warmed by your nose first, it heads straight to your lungs and airways. This can trigger an asthma attack.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America suggests these steps for reducing your chances of having winter’s cold air trigger your asthma:

  • Wear a scarf or face mask over your mouth.
  • If you normally exercise outdoors, consider an indoor sport for the winter, like heading to a gym for swimming or basketball.
  • If you do need to go outdoors in cold weather, you may need to use your quick-relief inhaler (e.g. albuterol) before you go outdoors. Talk with your doctor about a pretreatment plan.

Asthma is a chronic disease. Be sure to check your symptoms and be alert if they get worse:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing (a whistling, squeaky sound when you breathe)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Chest tightness