Many people who have emphysema report having more symptom flare-ups and difficulties breathing during the winter months. This is because cold, dry air can cause the airways in your lungs to constrict, which is the last thing you need when you have emphysema.
You can avoid this by not going outside when it’s cold, but this can be impractical and you might not enjoy being trapped inside for months. Instead, here are a few tips you can follow that should help you breathe better when it’s cold outside.
Tips for emphysema symptoms brought on by cold weather
- Wear a cold air face mask — When you’re diagnosed with emphysema, your doctor may have given you a face mask or recommended where to purchase one. Generally, you can find them in drugstores if you don’t have one. These masks are designed to help warm the air entering your lungs, which can help reduce the flare-ups caused by cold weather.
- Use a humidifier in your home — Using a humidifier can help keep the lungs moist and more prepared for the impacts of cold, dry air.
- Don’t use wood-burning fireplaces — Burning wood in your home can release smoke and other particles into the air that can irritate your lungs. Use a gas stove instead or find other cleaner means of warming your home.
- Exercise inside — Exercising when you have emphysema is a great way to improve your lung strength and overall health. Many people with emphysema prefer walking or jogging outside as their form of exercise. However, you may instead want to exercise in your home or in a gym when it’s cold.
- Travel or move somewhere warmer — If the cold bothers you enough, you may need to consider getting away from it for good. This can be a hard decision if it means leaving friends, family or a job. But if your health is suffering, moving or taking a long trip south may be the best decision.
Treat emphysema with the Lung Restoration Treatment™
Lung Restoration Treatment is a treatment for emphysema we offer at the Lung Health Institute. It uses a concentrated amount of cells taken from your own blood to target inflammation in the lungs. These cells help reduce the inflammation and improve your ability to breathe.
Contact us today to talk to one of our patient coordinators about Lung Restoration Treatment or to schedule a free consultation.