After a scorching summer and an enervating monsoon, winters have set in. The nights are usually longer, colder, and do not bode well for many people. Harsh weather conditions tend to rapidly flare-up the symptoms thereby making you more prone to illnesses. The frigid and cold weather conditions have the tendency to severely impact your respiratory health and for those with Chronic Lung Disease, it can spell the problems further. Also, cold and dry wind can lead to wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath thereby giving a tough time to people with respiratory diseases. While no one has control over the weather conditions, the least you can do is to bring down its impact on your respiratory health. Take good care of your lungs during winters by staying ahead and keeping the following tips in mind:
Tips for Outdoors
- Check the temperature before you step out. If it’s frigid cold outside and you’re not feeling well too or you’re having any type of breathing problem, then you should try to stay indoors and keep yourself warm.
- If you are asthmatic or have COPD, you can use an inhaler for half an hour before going outside or carry it with you (follow doctor’s recommendations).
- Wrap a soft scarf around your nose and mouth area in order to humidify the air before it makes its way to your lungs. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth, this will help warm the air before it gets to the lower airways.
- Make sure your layering game is strong enough to trap the warm air next to your body and also do not forget to wear a hat.
- In order to reduce any uneasiness in your lungs, make sure you drink a glass of lukewarm water when returning indoors.
- Most importantly, avoid exercising outdoors in harsh weather conditions.
Tips for Indoors
- Heat your home and do not forget to keep your bedroom window closed at night.
- Refrain the use of a wood-burning fireplace or stove as the smoke and fumes from it can give a hard time to the lungs by causing irritation or any other problems.
- It is advisable to change or clean your furnace air filter as this helps to improve the air quality in the surroundings.
- Prefer the consumption of hot drinks and meals over other food items. Also, ensure that you are eating regularly as it helps keep your energy levels up during the winters.
Tips to prevent infections (Colds & Flu)
In the event that you have Chronic Lung Disease or any respiratory issues, your immune system is already in a compromised state, and hence you’re more likely to catch a cold or flu or an infection, which can make your symptoms or health condition even worse. Have a glance at some of the top ways in which you can protect yourself from contracting infections:
- Immunization is the best protection against catching any sort of infection. Also, people with COPD and asthma should consider getting a shot in advance.
- Avoid any sort of touch or contact with sick people.
- Avoid going to crowded places when the cold and flu season is at its peak i.e Winters.
- Make a habit to wash your hands thoroughly with hand wash and carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for times you’re unable to wash your hands.
- Keep your surroundings always neat and clean in order to fight germs. For cleaning purposes, you can use a regular household disinfectant to wash the common surfaces on a daily basis.
- It is advisable to get enough rest, take a proper diet, and keep your stress levels always under control as the healthier you are, the less likely you are to catch any infection, or in the worst case, even if you do you’ll have a faster recovery.
Generally, cold weather conditions have the tendency to trigger a sudden outburst of cold, cough, and flu symptoms thereby making you more vulnerable to illnesses. Besides infections, these severe weather conditions can cause physiological stress on anyone, and also if you have any heart or respiratory disease then cold temperatures can be even more dangerous and life threatening. But there are things that can be done to take care of your lungs this winter. The above discussed easy to follow tips can help you stay healthy by keeping all the infections at bay.