Cold weather often comes with more than its fair share of health problems including colds, flu and sore throats. If you are one of the 5.4 million people in the UK who have asthma, cold air can bring on symptoms such as wheezing or coughing. According to Asthma UK, winter weather can even be life threatening for some people with asthma.
December and January have been deemed the most dangerous months of the year if you have asthma, says the charity. Official UK figures from the last 10 years show more people die of asthma attacks in January, closely followed by December, than other months.
To help you keep your symptoms under control at this time of year, Asthma UK has come up with a winter asthma survival guide, with advice on how you can manage your asthma during the winter months
Tips to manage your asthma this winter include:
- Take your asthma as prescribed and carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times – your preventer inhaler helps to build up protecting in your airways overtime so your lungs become less sensitive to asthma triggers, like cold air. Your reliever inhaler (usually blue) should be used as soon as you notice any asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in your chest.
- Stay warm and wear a scarf around your nose and mouth – cold air can trigger asthma, so wrapping a scarf loosely around your nose and mouth will help to warm up the air before you breathe it in.
- Breathe through your nose – breathing through your nose also helps to warm up the air before it gets to your lungs, which is another way to potentially stop cold air triggering your asthma
Looking for some expert advice?
Why not pop in to your local LloydsPharmacy and ask about our FREE Respiratory Support Service. We can help you understand how best to take your medication, offer advice and tips on managing your symptoms and your inhaler technique.
Check your technique online
If you’re not sure if you’re managing your asthma as well as you should be, take our quick and easy online Asthma Control Test.