Asthma is a respiratory illness where inflammation causes muscles around the bronchial airways in your lungs to tighten, the lining of the airways to swell, and more mucus to be produced, so that a coughing (wheezing) fit is induced.
Unfortunately, of the many things that can trigger asthma symptoms or make them worse is cold air, and unless you live in a tropical climate, itâ€™s an unavoidable part of winter.
Other triggers of asthma include:
- Allergies (Dust, mold, pet dander…)
- Physical Activity
Asthma is thought to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. While there is no easy cure for asthma, Doctors have a range of drugs that they prescribe to help eliminate and manage symptoms. In addition to working with your doctor, there are a number of lifestyle changes and additions you can make to help ease your asthma:
- Avoid environmental triggers like dust, smoke, and exhaust as best you can.
- Clean your home frequently to avoid the build up of dust, mold, and other tracked in pathogens.
- Try to reduce your overall stress, and practice ways to deal with sudden stressors.
- Maintain a healthy weight. The rise of obesity may be tied to the rise of asthma, and being overweight can worsen your symptoms.
- Although exercise is more difficult with asthma, strengthening your lungs and heart may benefit you. Try and find a warm environment and start gently.
- Nutrition is important no matter what aspect of your health youâ€™re worried about. Antioxidants (found in fruits, vegetables, and supplements), and other anti-inflammatories (Omega-3, evening primrose oil) may help reduce inflammation.
- Try supplementing a protein shake (with loads of fruit, and maybe a little honey, if you arenâ€™t allergic–eating local honey may help reduce allergies) for a meal if you need to lose weight.
- Use a face mask (or scarf wrapped around the bottom half of your face) to minimize your exposure to the cold.
Although asthma is a very manageable condition, make sure to work with a doctor to observe lung health, and to make sure symptoms donâ€™t get worse.
Symptoms for asthma include:
- General shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- Difficulty breathing out
- A tightness or pain in the chest
If you have a prolonged asthma fit, turn blue, or arenâ€™t breathing, you should go to a hospital.
And the Symptoms of asthma may have the effect of:
- Being worse in the morning and at night
- difficulty sleeping
- Having a sudden onset
- Permanently affecting the lungs and airways
What are your most common asthma triggers & how do you avoid them?