Asthma checklist, tips & treatments

Asthma - advice on effectively managing it during the winter

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Winter is difficult for everyone, but if you have asthma, it can literally take your breath away.

For a variety of reasons, asthma is more difficult to manage during the winter months for many people. To begin with, the chilly, dry air might irritate your airways and cause your inside muscles to spasm. Then there are the cold and flu viruses that are circulating. Asthma symptoms might be aggravated by a cold or a respiratory tract infection.
However, there are a few things that asthmatics can do to stay as healthy as possible.

Here are some of the measures recommended, some of which you can do right now.
Get your flu shot. Get it before the end of October for the maximum protection throughout the flu season. You should also possibly speak with your doctor about whether a pneumonia vaccine is necessary.

Outside exercise should be limited. When exercising in cold weather, even persons without asthma may experience shortness of breath. Indoor activities such as taking a fitness class or swimming may be preferable if you have asthma.


Things to consider when you have asthma

Wear a scarf with your outfit. When you're outside, covering your mouth helps to protect your airways by warming the air before you breathe it in.

Purchase a humidifier. The air can be dry even indoors, so a humidifier can aid with breathing. Simply ensure that the reservoirs and filters are free of debris.

Keep your hands clean at all times. When you wash them, use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When you're out and about, use hand sanitizer.

Keep hands away from your face as well. This is how we spread cold and flu viruses. They enter our bodies through our mouths, noses, and eyes after touching a door handle, for example.

Before the cold and flu season begins, consult your doctor. Make sure you have your asthma action plan in place and ensure you do not run out of ventolin inhalers. That way, if you do get sick, you'll know what to do before things get out of hand.

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