Brrr! Winter in North Texas can get a bit chilly. And that can be a problem when you have asthma.
Cold, dry air can irritate the breathing tubes in your lungs, which may trigger asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Asthma sufferers also get hit harder by seasonal flu, which in turn can trigger asthma attacks.
When to go to the ER with flu symptoms.
People with asthma are at higher risk for developing serious complications from the flu, including ear and sinus infections, bacterial pneumonia, worsening of chronic medical conditions and even sepsis.
That’s why it’s so important for asthma sufferers to know when to go to the ER with flu symptoms. Go to the ER if you have:
- Trouble breathing — your asthma isn’t being controlled by your medications
- Persistent vomiting — you can’t keep any food or liquids down (risk of dehydration)
- Confusion, trouble thinking clearly
- Chronic medical conditions in addition to asthma, such as COPD or heart disease
6 tips to manage asthma in winter.
If your asthma often gets worse in winter, you can reduce your symptoms by following these tips from the American Lung Association and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:
- Keep an eye on weather forecasts when planning exercise or other outdoor activities. If it’s going to be very cold, try to move your workouts indoors where it’s warmer.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf when you do go outside. This will warm the air you breathe in before it enters your lungs so that it’s less likely to trigger your asthma. It will also help if you practice breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Take your asthma medicines just as directed. This includes any daily controller medicines your doctor has prescribed. Keep your quick-relief inhaler with you at all times. Consider using it 20 to 30 minutes before participating in any cold-air activities. And use it right away if your symptoms flare. Get medication refills for mild or exercise-induced asthma without leaving home or the office online at Medical City Virtual Care. Use code BLOG10 for $10 off your first visit.
- Stay current on all recommended vaccinations, including your annual flu shot. The whole family can get vaccinated at one of the many conveniently located CareNow Urgent Care clinics in DFW. Pregnancy women should get them, too.
- As always, ask your doctor if you have questions about how to keep your asthma in check.
If winter asthma symptoms keep you sidelined, one of our many Medical City Healthcare emergency locations has you covered. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.
Find a fast Medical City ER near you or visit Medical City Virtual Care for non-emergency medical treatment from your computer or smartphone.
Kansas City Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
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