COPD and Cold Weather

COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, can be particularly challenging as the seasons change. Here are some ways you can manage this respiratory condition effectively as temperatures drop: 

Wear Proper Clothing

Cold air can constrict your airways, making it harder to breathe. Help combat this by covering your nose and mouth with a scarf or mask when going out. This helps warm and humidify the air you breathe, making it easier on your lungs. Layering your clothing is especially effective for retaining warmth near your body, enhancing comfort while reducing exposure to cold air.

Stay Healthy

Cold months bring an increased risk of respiratory infections. Get flu shots and take measures to avoid getting sick. Regular handwashing and avoiding crowded places during flu season can help. 

Air Quality Matters

Indoor heating systems can dry the air, irritating your airways. Using a humidifier to help keep indoor humidity at an optimal level will make breathing more comfortable. Colder weather also often means more indoor fires and stoves, which can produce smoke and pollutants. To protect your respiratory health, minimize exposure to these indoor pollutants.

Emergency Preparedness

Keep an emergency plan ready in case your symptoms worsen unexpectedly. This plan should include contact information for your healthcare provider, instructions on when to seek emergency care and a list of your medications.

COPD may present challenges during colder months, but by taking appropriate precautions, you can confidently navigate the changing seasons. Remember, cold weather impacts people with COPD differently, so stay vigilant and seek medical advice when needed.

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