The dry air and low temperatures of winter increase the likelihood of respiratory issues. Taking precautions against respiratory illnesses like the common cold, influenza, and asthma is crucial when the weather turns colder. We've compiled valuable suggestions to help you breathe easier this winter.
Following these suggestions may lessen your chances of developing respiratory issues this winter.
Since the cold weather causes the airways to narrow, breathing becomes more difficult, and respiratory issues are more likely to occur. Wearing a thick coat, hat, gloves, and scarf can help keep you warm and protected from the chilly weather. The layers will create a microclimate around your body to keep it warm.
Suppose you have a breathing illness like asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In that case, it is essential that you not only dress warmly but also pay attention to the weather forecast and avoid spending a long time outdoors in severely cold temperatures.
Use A Nasal Spray
It is helpful to use a nasal spray throughout the winter to keep the nasal passages moist and free of mucus. The dryness of the nasal passages caused by cold weather and low humidity may aggravate an already irritating condition. Try using Xlear nasal spray to cleanse nasal airways and alleviate nasal dryness. It has xylitol which moisturizes and soothes the nasal passages.
Medicated nasal sprays, such as those containing decongestants or antihistamines, may alleviate nasal congestion. Please consult a doctor before using any medicated nasal spray; they will prescribe the correct dosage and tell you its correct use.
Manage Indoor Humidity Levels
Dry air brought on by cold weather and low humidity may make breathing difficult and increase the likelihood of respiratory issues, including dry cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion. The recommended humidity level is 40 – 60% to prevent adverse health effects.
An electric humidifier is a convenient way to increase your home's humidity. It may make the indoor atmosphere more comfortable to breathe in while lessening the likelihood of developing respiratory issues. Regularly cleaning the humidifier will keep it free of mold and bacteria.
Placing a bowl of water in the areas where you spend the most time, including the living room and bedroom, is another way to increase the humidity level in your home. This way, moisture will be added to the air when water evaporates.
Get A Flu Shot
Influenza is a common disease in winter. It is a viral respiratory illness that may produce many uncomfortable symptoms. Patients with asthma and COPD, the elderly, and young children are at increased risk of serious flu complications during winter.
A flu vaccination yearly is vital to protect oneself from the influenza virus. Because winter is the peak season for the flu, vaccination against the flu is most effective when administered in the fall.
You can get the vaccination at medical institutions, clinics, and pharmacies, and it has a solid reputation for being risk-free. On the other hand, to obtain a flu vaccination, you will need a prescription from a medical professional.
Limit Going Out
Spending less time outside during the winter can help lessen the likelihood that you will experience respiratory issues. Because inhaling cold air can cause bronchial irritation and cough, as breathing becomes more difficult due to this constriction. Breathing cold air can be especially difficult for people with asthma or COPD, making normal lung function more challenging.
If you really must go out, wrap yourself in warm clothing, wear a scarf over your neck, and keep your mouth and nose covered. This reduces the likelihood of falling ill due to the chilly air in winter.
Avoid Strenuous Exercise in Winter
It is important to note that moderate exercise benefits overall health, including respiratory health. However, if the air quality is poor during the winter, you should skip your workout. Smoke from fireplaces, vehicle exhaust, and factory fumes are a few of the allergens and pollutants that may clog the air this time of year. By irritating the lungs, air pollution can worsen asthma and bronchitis.
Minimizing or preceding activity during winter is recommended for pre-existing respiratory diseases and cold or flu symptoms. Talk to your doctor or nurse regarding any concerns about exercising throughout the winter.
Increase Your Water Intake
People don’t often feel thirsty in winter as compared to summer. The body temperature drops in winter, and people tend to drink less water as the body doesn't sweat as much as it does in summer. But the dry indoor air and warm buildings can contribute to dehydration.
A lower water intake is not a smart choice when the surrounding air is dry. Dry air can cause the mucous membranes in your nose and throat to dry out, making it easier for germs to take hold and cause infection.
Drinking water frequently can help keep the mucous membranes moist, avoid infections, and make breathing easier. So, it is essential to keep your water intake in check and not only rely on the feeling of thirst.
It is also important to avoid or limit the use of beverages high in caffeine or alcohol to prevent dehydration in winter. Consuming these beverages may increase your risk of dehydration since they induce fluid and electrolyte loss.
In summary, winter brings chillier temperatures, drier air, and a higher chance of respiratory issues. Adhering to the guidelines provided in this article may lessen your chances of developing respiratory problems and have a more pleasant winter.
Avoid cold by dressing warmly, keeping yourself covered, and keeping the humidity level in your home above 40%. Get the flu shot, drink plenty of water, avoid heavy exercises, limit alcohol and caffeine, and use a nasal spray to keep your nasal passages moist.
If you have a respiratory ailment like asthma or COPD, you should visit a doctor to avoid any severe issues in winter. Patients with chronic respiratory diseases should see a doctor to improve their quality of life and make it easier for them to breathe in the winter.