As the temperature is set to drop once again, Bay Health and Care Partners are sharing some advice on how to manage asthma in cold weather.
There are 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK, which means asthma affects one in every 11 people and one in five households.
Winter can be a difficult time for people with asthma as cold or damp air can enter the airways and trigger them to go into spasm, causing asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. However, people with the condition can take steps to lessen the symptoms and reduce the risk of suffering asthma attacks.
Dr Andy Knox, Director of Population Health and Engagement in Morecambe Bay said: “Cold weather is a common trigger for asthma symptoms but there are a few simple ways to keep your symptoms under control this winter:
- Carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times and keep taking your regular preventer inhaler as prescribed
- Check that you’re using your inhaler(s) correctly
- Download the ‘RightBreathe’ app- This online tool can be a great help in optimising inhaler use
- Keep warm and dry – wear gloves, a scarf and a hat, and carry an umbrella
- Wrap a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth – this will help warm up the air before you breathe it
- Try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth – your nose warms the air as you breathe
- Exercise indoors- regular exercise keeps us all healthy and can reduce asthma symptoms but its best to avoid exercising outdoors in very cold weather.”
Dr Farhan Amin, from Burnett Edgar Medical Practice said: “During the colder months it is especially important to ensure that you have stocks of all prescribed asthma medications, as well as cough and cold remedies.
“Make sure you have spare preventer and reliever inhalers and rescue pack medications if you take these. Avoid running out so that you are prepared in the event of an attack and to help control your symptoms longer term. And if you don’t have to use your inhalers very often don’t forget to check that they are in date.”
For more advice on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.