The winter brings with it additional concerns for those who suffer from
asthma. In addition to the threat that cold air itself poses, cooler
weather can also tip the scales of an individual's
total allergen load, making
asthma attacks particularly likely with exposure to cold air. To keep the
“allergy bucket” from getting too full, it's important to take precautions
against every asthma trigger during the cold winter months.
How Cold Weather Can Trigger Asthma
Cold air affects the respiratory system in several ways that can lead to
the onset of asthma symptoms. Firstly, cold air causes mucus to become
thicker, which impedes the successful transport of inhaled particles from
the lungs. Secondly, when cold air is breathed in through the nose, blood
rushes to the nose in order to warm the air; this causes nose tissues to
swell and, along with thicker mucus, can lead to nasal congestion. Finally,
when cold air makes it to the lungs, they release histamine, which leads to
wheezing in asthma sufferers.
Masks Provide Protection Against Cold Air
Cold weather masks are a must-have item for asthmatic individuals during
cold winter months. Whether it's a walk between the car and the store or a
prolonged period watching a hockey game, masks are indispensible in warming
the air before you take it into your body.
The BreathXChange Full Mask provides the most comprehensive coverage, and
is intended for extended exposure to cold air, such as during hunting,
sporting events, or working outside. Though it's a full mask, it is
nevertheless lightweight and comfortable, warming and moisturizing the air
you breathe through a breath exchange module.
BreathXChange Half Mask, which features a thermal conversion module,
BreathXChange Half Mask Light, constructed of lightweight Polartec
fleece, also provide exceptional protection against the cold. They are
intended for strenuous cold weather activities, such as participation in
sporting events and the like.
BreathXChange Face Shield is ideal for lighter outdoor activities, such
as walking and jogging, and the Cold Weather
Mask offers ideal protection for short exposure to cold weather - which
is enough to induce asthma symptoms.
Reduce Your Total Allergen Load with Allergy Relief Products
Winter months aren't just hazardous to asthma sufferers because of the
cold weather; indoor air is also worse in the winter than during other
months, largely because of less air circulation and more time spent
indoors. For this reason, it's critical that asthma sufferers guard against
the home's most common allergy triggers. Here are some easy steps to
- Allergy-proof your bedroom. Use Allergy Armor
mattress encasings and Allergy Armor
pillow covers or pillows to
protect against dust mites. Also consider using other allergy relief
bedding, such as Allergy Armor's Microfiber
Fleece Blanket, which stands up to frequent washings and resists mold
- Use an air purifier. An air purifier clears your air of dust
mite allergen, pet dander, mold spores, and other offending allergens that
can lead to asthma attacks. Choose from hospital-grade models like IQAir Air
Purifiers or the most budget-friendly alternatives, Filtrete Air Purifiers from
3M or Honeywell
- Invest in an allergy-reducing vacuum cleaner. Using a vacuum cleaner
that fights against dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens will
also go a long way in reducing your total allergen load. The Dyson
DC17Animal Vacuum Cleaner, which spins and suctions allergens out of
carpets and upholstery as it traps microscopic allergens in its HEPA
filter, is a superior choice. For additional selections, see our Vacuum
Cleaner Buying Guide.
The key to combating asthma symptoms during winter months is two-fold:
protect yourself against the cold weather itself, and make sure you take
precautions to reduce your total allergen load.