Make Winters Easier On Your Asthma With These Precautions
For most, winters are pleasing but the season comes with its own set of problems, especially for those suffering from asthma. It can be extremely challenging as the condition gets harder to control as the weather gets cold. One of the most common reasons why asthmatics face difficulties during the winter is that the cold and dry air irritates the airways causing bronchospasm (narrowing of airways).
However, there’s no need to worry or panic if you are an asthma patient. You can manage your asthama through the winters easily by following these simple precautions.
Pretreat 15-20 Minutes Before Going Out :
Pretreating with a short-acting rescue medication before going anywhere out during the winter. Wear Protective Clothing.
Wash Your Hands Frequently :
Washing your hands frequently is the easiest and the most efficient way of avoiding cold and flu pathogens from entering the body and wreaking havoc. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or sanitize them, especially when you’re out.
Do Not Sit Near A Fireplace :
Smoke and ash produced from burning woods in fireplaces and bonfires can aggravate your asthma and cause major discomfort. They can irritate your airways and trigger an attack. Therefore, it is wise to avoid such places if you suffer from asthma.
Cover Your Nose And Mouth :
Wear a scarf or a mask across your nose and mouth. This will warm up the cold air you inhale and reduce irritation while keeping your airway lining moist, making it easier for you to breathe.
Know Your Triggers To Avoid Them :
Know what little things aggravate your condition so that you can avoid your asthma from worsening and prevent attacks as much as possible.
Drink Lots Of Fluids :
Drink lots of warm fluids such as green tea, vegetable soups, warm water with lemon, kadha, etc. This will help in loosening the mucous which can then easily be eliminated to prevent any discomfort.
Eat Healthy Food :
Maintain a well-balanced diet. Include more vitamin A, vitamin D, and magnesium-rich food in your diet to help clean your lungs. Some great sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potato, green leafy vegetables, flax seeds, jaggery, etc. Vitamin D rich foods include milk, eggs, avocados, garlic, ginger, turmeric, berries, nuts, etc. To increase the levels of magnesium you can include spinach, pumpkin seeds, etc in your diet.
Know What Foods To Avoid :
Just as much as it is important to maintain a balanced diet to keep the condition under control, it is also important to know what food items to avoid. There are some foods that may aggravate asthma and lead to an attack, these foods include citrus foods like oranges, lemons, etc; dairy products like cold milk, cold yogurt, cheese, and also junk food.
Invest In A Humidifier :
Get a humidifier if you can because even indoors the air can be dry and can make it hard for you to breathe. A humidifier will add moisture to the air and prevent dryness which in turn will help you breathe easily.
Avoid Stress :
Stress is one of the major triggers of asthma that is often overlooked. Therefore, avoid stressing as much as possible. Opt for stress-busting activities like meditation, yoga, pranayam, etc.
Talk To Your Doctor :
If you have faced problems during the winters before make sure that you consult your doctor prior to the onset of the season and have a preventive plan in place. Also, keep in regular touch with your doctor to keep them well informed about your condition.
Dr Sudhir Prasad
MBBS, MD, EDARM(Europe), FCCP(USA)
Consultant - Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine
Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.