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Freezing temperatures can worsen asthma symptoms

Parts of the Midwest and the East Coast are experiencing record-low temperatures, which could worsen asthma symptoms.

One reality about winter in the United States is that it can go from mild to severe in a matter of days, and that appears to be what has happened recently. According to The New York Times, temperatures over the past week have hit record-lows in parts of the Midwest, and East Coast cities have even opened up emergency shelters to get people out of the cold. 

This kind of weather presents a number of hazards, from pipes freezing to people getting frost bite. And for individuals who suffer from asthma, freezing temperatures can mean a worsening of their symptoms. 

“Certainly, inhaling cold, dry winter air can be a trigger for certain respiratory problems,” Frank Scifo, medical director of the St. Vincent’s Medical Center, told the Connecticut Post. 

If you have asthma and need to be outside in this weather, doctors recommend that you wear a scarf over your mouth and nose to help warm the cold air that you’re inhaling. Additionally, make sure you have your prescribed medication on you in case of an attack.

In particularly cold weather, viruses such as the cold and the flu can survive more easily, and as the frigid temperatures cause people to spend more time indoors, germs can spread quickly. In some states, such as Connecticut, the reported number of flu cases this season is more than double what it was last year. Since this kind of virus can increase asthma symptoms, those who suffer from this chronic respiratory disease are at greater risk of having an attack. By washing your hands before eating, after using the bathroom and when coming in from outside, you can help prevent yourself from getting sick.

In addition to following advice from your doctor to limit the severity of your asthma symptoms this season, you may want to invest in a whole house air purifier, a product that can make your home more comfortable by removing allergens directly from the air.

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