The winter season can be especially difficult to get through if you have asthma. The cold, dry weather can irritate your airways causing muscle spasms, which can lead to asthma attacks. Flu season can also affect those with asthma because, the influenza can trigger attacks or lead to pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. ACCESS is here to help with tips to manage asthma during the winter.
Get a Flu Shot and Wash Your Hands Often
Since people with asthma are at greater risk of health issues when they have the flu, it’s recommended that you take some preventative steps to protect yourself this winter. Remember to get a flu shot every year. If you’re unsure about getting the vaccine, check out myths debunked here. Another important step to take is washing your hands regularly. You know the drill: scrub for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, and use hand sanitizer whenever possible, especially when you are on-the-go.
If you are looking to work up a sweat during the winter months to reach your health and wellness goals, those with asthma are advised to exercise indoors. Running outside for any extended period of time can be a trigger. It is also important for people with asthma to do a warm-up before working out, which studies show can help limit symptoms.
Wear a Scarf
Wearing a scarf over your mouth can help you more than you might think when you’re outside. This allows you to warm the air as you breathe in, protecting your airways and avoiding the cold, dry air intake. Scarves are a simple …and stylish step to help manage asthma.
Stay Away from the Fireplace
While warming up by the fire may sound delightful, the smoke may be trouble for your lungs. Be aware of how this may affect you and know that smoke has been known reduce lung function.
Have an Action Plan
No matter how many precautions you take, you can develop symptoms at any time. Create an action plan including what prescriptions you need to carry with you, identify things or activities that can cause asthma flare-ups, and know what symptoms to look out for. It’s also a good idea to have the answers to questions like what type of treatment you have been prescribed for asthma attacks and always keep your doctor’s information handy.
Access Community Health Network (ACCESS)
If you are struggling to control your asthma this winter, ACCESS is here to help. As a start, come in for a flu shot at any of our 35 convenient Chicagoland locations. Schedule an appointment today!