How to protect yourself in winters

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Representational image. Image courtesy: Pixabay/kalhh

Cold weather can take a toll on those with asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is the need of the hour to protect your lungs during winter and stay healthy. Here, we tell you about some vital tips that will help to take care of the lungs.

Even though the cold weather is pleasing, it can bring along a plethora of health problems that can steal your peace of mind. When there is a sudden change in the temperature and it drops, the body tends to take extra effort to stay warm and that is why there is pressure on your heart and lungs. The blood vessels start narrowing owing to the restricted blood flow depriving the heart of oxygen. Then, the lungs work harder and one will notice symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and chronic cough due to the strain on the lungs. Moreover, dry hair during those chilly days can lead to lung irritation by reducing moisture in the airways and causing inflammation. So, those living with COPD will have to pay extra attention to their health.

These are some of the essential tips that one with COPD should follow: 

• Don’t forget to cover your nose and mouth: Now, it is wintertime, so you need to take enough care of your lungs. It will be imperative for you to cover your nose and mouth with a scarf before you venture out in cold weather.

• Get a Flu Shot without fail: It is a known fact that COPD patients are likely to suffer from pneumonia. Thus, skipping your annual flu shot is not a good idea as it can make you prone to respiratory tract infections.

• Avoid outdoor activities during winter: When the temperature lowers, it’s the best option to stay indoors and avoid going outside. Performing any type of strenuous activity can expose you to dry air taking a toll on the lungs.

• Avoid active and passive smoking: If you tend to smoke then it is the right time to quit it and protect your lungs.

• Use a mask during those chilly days: It is advised that those having COPD need to cover their mouth with the help of a mask and not be around sick people.

• Use a humidifier at home: Doing so can help you to breathe freely by filtering the air.

The author is a Pulmonologist, Zen Multispecialty Hospital. Views expressed are personal. 

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