For Nebraskans who have asthma, winter weather can ruin any fun, indoors and outdoors.
Cold weather is a common asthma trigger and for many, asthma attacks happen more often in the winter, because they spend more time indoors with exposure to triggers like pet dander and smoke.
Allergist Dr. David Slade offers tips on keeping your asthma symptoms in check indoors.
“If at all possible, try not to use or be around things like wood-burning stoves, even kerosene heaters or fireplaces, just to avoid the strong odors or chemicals they that they produce,” Slade says. “It’s also important to avoid things like irritating sprays, hairspray, indoor air fresheners.”
“Ask your family members to try to limit their use of perfumes or anything with a strong scent,” he says. “The most important thing is that if you have asthma and you smoke, the best thing you can do is quit and ask people not to smoke around you.”
Once outside, simply breathing the cold air can trigger an asthma attack. Slade says it’s important to cover your nose and mouth with a scarf when you’re outdoors, especially on cold, windy days.
“If you’re thinking of fun things to do outside this winter, try to plan them when you’ll have the least exposure to your asthma triggers,” Slade says. “Keep an eye on the weather so that you can monitor your asthma by tracking days that symptoms most occur.”
Also, he says to talk with your doctor on developing a plan that really keeps your symptoms under control and establish a routine that works best for you.