You’ve probably already noticed that the cold air can make breathing challenging. If you have COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the winter can make your symptoms even worse. One of the critical symptoms of COPD is that it is harder to get oxygen into your lungs. This will only get worse the longer you have the condition because COPD is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time.
Since this is such a prevalent condition, with millions of people suffering from it globally, you need to know what to do in the winter weather. The winds and temperatures will leave you feeling breathless and wheezing. It can also dry out your mouth and irritate your airways, making your symptoms feel exaggerated. Here are some things you can try to help minimize these side effects.
Avoid Smoking and Second-Hand Smoke With COPD
Cigarette smoke will irritate and constrict your airways. Combined with colder temperatures, it will seriously aggravate your symptoms. Therefore, you should avoid smoking whenever possible. You should also avoid being around smokers indoors and outdoors because second-hand smoke is just as harmful when it comes to aggravating your symptoms.
Wear a Face Mask
Cold-air masks are one way to put a barrier between your airways and the chilly air. This barrier heats the air, making it easier to breathe. You can find these at most drugstores near our communities. If you don’t have one or prefer another option, you can cover your mouth and nose with a scarf to help create that barrier.
Take a Preventative Dose of a Bronchodilator
Taking a dose of your bronchodilator about 30 minutes before you go outside in the cold can help open up your airways. Also, keep your inhaler with you out and use it as needed. These tactics will help you minimize the amount of constriction in your airways, making it easier to get oxygen to your lungs.
Breathe With Your Nose
The moisture in the air passages in your nose warm and humidifies the air before it reaches your lungs, making breathing easier. That means you will be less likely to start wheezing or get breathless because of the cold. If you’re looking for more helpful tips like this, consider viewing our blog to see what you can find.
Buy a Humidifier
Humidifiers are great because they raise the moisture content of the air inside your home when the air outside is dry and cold. That is great, especially when you’ve got the heat on in your home, and it is drying out the air inside. Moisture makes the air easier to breathe, which keeps you from running out of air and feeling breathless or wheezy.
Get Ready for the Cold With COPD In a Community
While cold temperatures won’t worsen your condition, they can make your symptoms more uncomfortable because they can make it harder for you to get oxygen to your lungs. If your COPD symptoms are severe in the winter, contact us today to see how living in one of our communities could benefit you.