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Cold Weather & COPD: Here’s What You Need to Know

Cold Weather & COPD: Here’s What You Need to Know

Cold weather conditions aren’t always friendly for those with COPD.

Living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be difficult. Add in the exacerbation of symptoms as a result of cold weather conditions and quality of life with the disease can decrease significantly. At its face, cold weather is known to decrease mobility, create more difficult road conditions for travel and further the spread of viruses and disease. However, for those who live with COPD, these unfortunate conditions can be significantly worse as the disease’s general symptoms can serve to weaken the immune system, spark fatigue and leave you breathless even under the best weather conditions. Though alternative options to meet these disease symptoms exist, as those with COPD begin to travel across the country this season, understanding the effects of cold weather on COPD is critical to maintaining one’s health.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you all the information on Cold Weather & COPD: Here’s What You Need to Know.

Cold Weather & COPD

It should come as no surprise that cold weather and COPD hospital admissions have a definitive link. Cold weather can have a dramatic effect on the lungs with the capability of making significant changes to the respiratory system under chronic exposure. At its worst, cold weather and COPD can cause you to experience shortness of breath while putting you at a higher risk of getting sick. Further still, cold weather can often be synonymous with strong winds—key factors in COPD exacerbations during the winter. 

How the Cold Affects Your Body 

The danger of cold weather rests primarily in the relationship between the lungs and the heart. As temperatures begin to drop to extreme lows, the blood vessels of the heart slowly start to narrow ultimately restricting blood flow and depriving the heart of oxygen. With the hearts reduced ability to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the lungs and the rest of the body, your ability to breathe is similarly affected. Worse still, as the blood vessels of the body begin to narrow, the heart is simultaneously forced to pump harder, which in turn leads to increases in blood pressure.

Windy Conditions & COPD 

As we mentioned earlier, cold weather is often synonymous with windy conditions which can have significant effects on the lungs. As wind can provide physical resistance when walking or standing outside, this physical pressure can have a large effect on not only mobility but breathing, too. As wind increases under cold weather conditions, humidity can often increase as well, ultimately leading to an increase in sputum production. This increased phlegm can be dangerous as it can create further blockages in the lungs and make breathing more labored and difficult.

Combatting Cold Weather & COPD

With a clear understanding of how cold weather can affect your COPD symptoms, the next step is knowing how to improve your respiratory health during these long winter months. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare for cold weather with COPD:

Moving Forward

Cold Weather & COPD: Here’s What You Need to Know

It’s important to know the road ahead in the treatment of COPD. Although COPD can seem insurmountable, new discoveries are being made every day in the field of stem cell research, and the first step to living a longer life is finding a treatment that addresses the disease head-on. Changing one’s diet and consistently exercising are among the best lifestyle changes one can do aside from quitting smoking. It may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than only addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy may affect disease progression and may improve quality of life and pulmonary function. For people with lung disease, a change in quality of life could mean the difference between struggling to walk to the mailbox and riding a bike.

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like ILD, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult stem cell treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.

Interested in our article on Cold Weather & COPD: Here’s What You Need to Know? Share your thoughts and comments below.

4 Comments

  1. PB

    11 months ago

    Dear Joan,

    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell treatment, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. Our patient coordinators can discuss stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and cost with you on our secure phone line. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Joan DalCerro

    11 months ago

    Interested in stem cell 2000 dollars and financing information

    Thanks by

  3. PB

    11 months ago

    Dear Joan,

    Thanks for your comment, and we’re glad to hear that you found our article helpful. Keep checking-in with our blog to read articles on a variety of topics to help people breathe easier. We wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Joan DalCerro

    12 months ago

    Thanks for the article on cold weather.
    I live in North West AZ and it is cold. And I have animals to feed so this really was informative.
    Joan DalCerro

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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