Cold weather is a major trigger for asthma symptoms – a risk that 470,000 people in Ireland with the condition need to be aware of.
People whose asthma is well-controlled are more likely to be able to withstand the risks of winter months. Basic tips to avoid an attack during the cold include:
* Keep taking preventer medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
* If you know that cold air triggers your asthma, take one or two puffs of your reliever inhaler before going outside.
* Keep your blue reliever inhaler with you at all times.
* Wrap up well and wear a scarf over your nose and mouth – this will help to warm up the air before you breathe it in.
* Take extra care when exercising in cold weather. Warm up for 10-15 minutes and take one or two puffs of your reliever inhaler before you start.
Signs of an asthma attack include:
* Coughing more than usual.
* Getting short of breath.
* Feeling a tightness in your chest.
* Having difficulty speaking in full sentences.