eWellness: Asthma and winter care: What can you do to protect yourself?


Dr KK Aggarwal    06 December 2017

In case of patients who are suffering from asthma, the lungs become irritable and more reactive than before during winter months

While the sudden change in weather comes as a sign of relief for many, it also brings with it health implications especially for those suffering from pre-existing lifestyle diseases like asthma. It is essential that special care be taken during this time to be able to properly enjoy the winter season.

According to the World Health Organization, India is home to an estimated 20 million asthma patients. All of them suffer from moderate to severe cases of asthma and hence, it really becomes important for these patients to understand how a common virus can trigger a major asthma attack in the winter months.

To eradicate the dangers, one must understand what triggers asthma. We recommend that people must stay away from smoke filled rooms, highly polluted areas and spend more time in parks and amongst nature. Given that mites also trigger asthma, patients should use mite-proof covers on the mattresses and pillows. Special attention should also be paid to keeping ones house dry and cool so as to prevent mites and molds’ from growing. In addition to this, consuming a healthy diet and getting adequate exercise and vitamin D through sunlight is key to mainlining necessary immunity levels.

What can you do?Wash your hands regularly: The importance of maintaining hand hygiene has been stressed too often because it is one of the best and simplest ways to avoid catching and spreading common cold and flu viruses. Medical experts advise that an individual uses alcohol-based moist hand sanitizers; this trick will definitely shield you against the danger of catching germs as well.

Avoid sitting by the fireplace: Lighting up a bonfire in chilly winters might sound as a great idea for a cozy day, but sitting really close to a fireplace or just near the heater might not be good for asthmatic patients. Smoke coming from the burning wood can harm your lungs and give you breathing issues aggravating an asthma attack.

Get a flu shot: Although having asthma won’t make you susceptible to flu viruses, but these viruses can make asthma severe or worse in some patients. Getting a vaccine will keep your symptoms under control by protecting you from the harmful attacks of the virus.

Clean the heater and replace the filters: A season off can cause a lot of germs to deposit inside the packed heaters and their filters. And once you start them without cleaning them, it can cause dust to blow through your nose and as well your house causing an asthma patient to develop an allergy. And hence, it is always advised that heaters should be cleaned and filters should be replaced before prepping up for a new season.

Exercise indoor and warm up before starting up: Chilly waves can impact your lungs and might make it problematic to breathe and that’s why medical experts advise that patients should instead opt for a gym or exercise outdoors when the weather is a little warm. Innumerable studies have shown that the lungs of asthmatic patients work more efficiently when they warm up before starting up their exercise routine.

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