I believe we all have had cold in some time of our lives, mostly multiple times. Common cold or flu is so common that we do not even get worried about getting it. Cold could affect an infant to an old adult. This is caused because of inflammation in the body which might trigger other conditions as well including asthma. Several factors including exercise, cold weather, dry air can cause the airways to tighten because of which it could get difficult to breathe properly. Cold-induced asthma is a condition that could be affected because of getting symptoms of flu, here is all you need to know about this type of asthma.
What is Cold-Induced Asthma?
We spoke to Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician at Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to know about condition of cold induced asthma. He explained that extremely cold weather or dry weather could trigger asthma in patients. Especially if the person with asthma is exposed to cold winds and cold temperatures, it is more likely that he will get cold. Because of cold, the nose and mouth are unable to warm the air going in the lungs as a result of which it makes it harder to breathe.
As cold air hits, the lungs react by tightening themselves. As a result, it contains less moisture which could dry our airways. All these conditions could easily trigger asthma attack and make your cough persistently. Coldness in the air is the primary symptom of asthma from the very beginning, therefore, it is very much possible that cold could induce asthma attack. It is the dryness that is the main culprit of asthma.
Symptoms of Cold-induced asthma
Cold-induced asthma can cause symptoms that are usually found in asthma patients. Majorly five symptoms are very evident in cold-induced asthma. These includes-
- Chest pain
- Coughing persistently
- Shortness of breath
- Sensation of tightness in the chest
All of these symptoms can develop shortly after the person is exposed to cold air conditions. These usually go away in a warmer temperature but it can sometimes stick and leave a longer impact on the person with lasting symptoms.
How to Manage Cold Induced Asthma
Dr. Sumeet gives some tips in order to manage asthma attack that occurs because of cold. Here are some tips that you can follow-
1. First thing a person needs to do it is to stop the trigger from affecting you. This means that you need to have a short-acting inhaler that loosens and opens up airways.
2. This inhaler contains albuterol that is actually a beta agonist. A person having asthma must carry inhaler with them at all times, especially if they are heading out of their homes in colder temperatures.
3. A person should get into warmer temperature or environment, if he is feeling nose blockage or problems in breathing.
4. After breathing in warm temperature, it is easier for the person to open up and start working on symptoms, so that they get lighter and do not cause asthma attack.
5. If you experience the symptoms regularly because of cold, then you must consult your doctor and ask for treatment accordingly.
6. In case exercise triggers asthma symptoms, then you need to take prescribed medications in order to reduce and control asthma attack from occurring. You can take leukotriene receptors inhibitors for this.
You would need to take the following steps in order to prevent yourself from triggering asthma symptoms. Apart from taking medicines, here are some prevention tips that you can follow in order to reduce the asthma triggers.
- Warming up for about 5-10 minutes before going out
- Using a short inhaler which should be used 10 minutes before moving outdoors.
- Wear clothes that might help you to cover your mouth or take some extra handkerchiefs, etc.
- Concentrate on breathing through the nose in most conditions.
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