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Any tips coping with Asthma when outside in the cold please


Exactly this time last year I had a very bad chest infection followed by three more & pneumonia, then diagnosed with asthma. Have had a terrible year, then found Fostair was great for me only to be allergic to it (hives and fast heart rate). So back on QVAR which doesnt really work for me in the meantime.

Anyway, as well as caring for my 2.5 yr old twins I also run a small business retailing baby & childrens products which means I tend to attend fairs over the weekends, mainly outdoors from say 8am until 7pm maximum.

From 1 December I have approx 6 outdoor events, am not sure how I am going to cope. Having just gone out the back door for a couple of minutes, I feel like I now have ice cubes on my chest/in airways, its really hurting.

Are there any other people who can share any info how to cope with being outdoors for long periods in the cold weather. (apart from wearing warm clothes) - just worried breathing the cold air in is going to make my asthma worse :''( I can't afford to be ill.

Thanks all :)

Michelle xx

3 Replies

Hi michelle,

I wear a scarf over my mouth and nose to breathe in warm air until my lungs acclimatise. When walking in it I move the scarf up and when I am standing still I can move it down for some time once acclimatised. Also, use my inhaler more often if need be.

Hope this helps.


I use my blue inhaler before I go out -in anticipation, which helps. Respiratory specialist advised this. Have just come out of winter here and am so over the constant colds and flu and antibiotics etc. X


Like others have said, make sure you keep your nose and mouth covered so you're not breathing in cold air. If you find yourself starting to feel tight at all, if you can get indoors or somewhere warm to sit down and take your inhaler, it's better than taking it outside and you're giving your lungs a rest aswell. Lungs are a lot more twitchy in the cold, so the littlest thing can set them off, so as hard as it is sometimes, try and avoid spending time outdoors if you're having a bad time.

I found aswell making sure I keep my ears and head warm helps. You loose a lot of your body heat through your head which can make it much harder to get warmed up. I bought a snood last year, and it was invaluable when I did have to go out. You can get them in all different designs etc and they're fantastic for keeping you warm. And some people don't like the feeling of scarves or wool etc, so these are really useful.

Taking your inhaler before you go out is a good suggestion. As with excercise, you're preparing for something by taking it before you expose yourself. Doubling up preventer inhalers if possible, and making sure you keep in regular contact with your GP or practice nurse is a good idea. Then they can keep an eye on you during the winter months and try and catch anything before it turns to something. Speaking to them about keeping some anti-biotics and steroids at home is a good idea aswell because if you do get ill and can't get to GP's surgery, you can call them and then if you need to start them, you can without having to go out to get them.

Hope you have a good winter and stay healthy xxx


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