Winter chest tight/ coughing - Asthma UK communi...

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Winter chest tight/ coughing

Julesc12
Julesc12

Does anybody experience that in winter or between November and March you struggle with tight chest , mucus build up in your throat and coughing usually ending up with a chest infection needing steroids to help you breath . I am usually only seasonal asthmatic but every year for the last 15 years I get a cold and it goes to my chest causing weeks of breathing problems . I seriously am thinking of moving to the coast as I am better near the sea air . Any advice ?

30 Replies
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EmmaF91
EmmaF91Community Ambassador

Hi

It’s really common for people to be triggered by the cold weather and colds etc in general. However if you frequently get triggered (ie yearly) it suggests you aren’t actually controlled and may benefit from a change in maintenance meds, even if it’s just between Nov-March. I’m not sure what you’re on right now, but that may involve an increase in inhaler dose or an additional med (such as montelukast).

The more controlled your asthma is, the less likely you are to be triggered by things like colds, or at least have less of an issue.

Regarding things like moving... if cold weather is the main trigger for you than I’d warn you that most of the coast is colder than inland, esp with the high winds 😅

The best you can do it identify what triggers and try and combat it. Wintery triggers like damp, mould, temperature issues or humidity issues. Humidifiers/dehumidifiers may help (depends on what is best for you), wearing face coverings etc outside to help warm the air etc etc. If you always get colds in winter maybe making sure you have enough vit b/c/d etc may also help.

The other thing is to not put off starting steroids if you do get a cold. Usually the faster treatment is started the quicker you ‘get over’ the issue. I’m not sure if you have an asthma action plan, but that’s something to also ask about if you don’t. That will give you better guidance as to when to get more help.

But I’d suggest talking to your GP about changing your med regime during winter. You may also benefit from giving the AUK helpline a call. The nurses are great and can be reached on 0300 2225800 M-F 9-5. Alternatively their WhatsApp service is 07378 606728. They’ll be able to talk you through things.

Hope this helps and you feel better soon

Julesc12
Julesc12 in reply to EmmaF91

Thank you so much for your advice I will take it . I am on a symbicort every day and night and ventoline .

EmmaF91
EmmaF91Community Ambassador in reply to Julesc12

If you’re having to use you’re reliever inhaler (ventolin) more than 3 doses a week then it’s another indication that you’re not controlled.

Here’s some info about add ons if you want to know them!: healthunlocked.com/asthmauk...

LeiLey
LeiLey in reply to EmmaF91

Hi hope you are both ok, I was reading through your advice with triggers in winter etc. Can I ask, would a dehumidifier (or one of the cheap moisture traps you get in supermarkets) be handy for in the bedroom? We get damp/mold/condensation in our bedroom in the winter (although not much now we have a new window). Just trial and error thinking of what is a trigger for my (possible) asthma, I’m waking up with a tight chest. Thank you LeiLey

Julesc12
Julesc12 in reply to LeiLey

I would say yes if you get damp or mould as it definitely triggers asthma. I am looking at a air purifier as I don’t have damp or mould but if you have damp or mould then a de humidifier will help this , however if it gets too dry then you run a risk of it causing a cough if your throat gets too dry

EmmaF91
EmmaF91Community Ambassador in reply to Julesc12

If you’re looking at air filters/purifiers be care of things like negative ion ones which for some people can give issues. More people find HEPA filters the best

Julesc12
Julesc12 in reply to EmmaF91

Thankyou yes I am looking at the Phillips 800 series HEPA filter and ozone free

I just had an air purifier delivered. I haven’t unboxed it yet but I will see how it goes and let everyone know on here.

LeiLey
LeiLey in reply to Julesc12

Ah right thank you, it’s all about trying things out isn’t it? Sounds like it might be the dehumidifier I need. I hope the air purifier works for you and like Emma said any other medication you may need for winter.

EmmaF91
EmmaF91Community Ambassador in reply to LeiLey

Hi it’s all about trial and error. As I said some people need slightly ‘wetter’ air others slightly ‘dryer’. If damp and mould is a problem then a dehumidifier may help with that. If you think it’s an issue then it’s worth a try! Look into their return policy to see if you can return it if it is a trigger for you in the end.

But equally if it’s an issue that keeps you waking make sure your GP is aware just in case you also need to escalate maintenance treatment.

LeiLey
LeiLey in reply to EmmaF91

Yes thank you it does sound like trial and error. The mold may be more of an issue than we first thought so hopefully we can keep on top of it this winter. I have it in the kitchen too due to the roof tiles been broken, fixed now but just need to get the mold cleaned off properly, might ask a professional to do that lol. I agree it’s worth a try. Thanks for you too on the returns policy for one 👍

Hi this is me right now with the cold wheather, I'm always ill in colder months on my 3rd lot of steroids since October, Also on fostair 100, ventolin, omperazole, montekelast, Fexofenadine has helped tightness abit for my allergies have u tried this? , im off work again, work as TA at a school, work have said I might get redoplyed if I keep being off, there now thinking about stronger inhaler, I've tried upping vitamins scarf in playground, when that cold air hits I know il be ill. If you hear of any ideas please let me know, it worries me a air purifier might trigger something, I have salt lamp works abit.Take care.

LeiLey
LeiLey in reply to Jolu29

Sorry to hear you haven’t been well. I hope you feel better soon and find something that works for your asthma

Hi, yes this happens to me! It’s usually from now til March I end up with more steroids and chest infections and it seems March is my month for hospital admissions!

Hope it’s not too bad a winter for your asthma!!!

Definitely. That is why I moved to Malta. Cold weather and wind always makes my asthma and bronchiectasis much worse. So far after over 2 years, I have had only 1 bad chest infection requiring steroids and antibiotics. My chest is really a lot better

Hi J, I’m having the same issue right now, ( in Palm Springs, California!), and your message was a comfort to me. Maybe misery loves Company? Get well :-)

Hi this was totally me every winter without fail on steroids and abx summer just horrendous hayfever. But last few years hayfever would also set asthma off and this past year asthma horrendous so on reflection I would say my asthma probably wasnt as controlled as I thought and wish I had been apart of this forum from a few years ago to realise that may have prevented where I'm at now.

So go and see your gp, do you have an asthma nurse there could they review you? Or are you under a cons? Either way get a review meds may need tweaking.

Re sea air its different for all as everything with asthma when I was kid we moved to cornwall right by the sea for my mums asthma but actually didn't really make a difference as other factors but better for hayfever!!! 😂🤣

Yep that’s been a winter pattern for me too tight chest, hard to shift and chest infections. Montelukast and Fexofandine helped last year, and I didn’t get chest infection over winter.

Thanks everyone , it’s weird but it’s a comfort to think I’m not alone . I have spoken to Asthma uk and the nurse there she was brilliant. Reviewed what I’m on and gave me advice to change my inhaler from a symbecort to a fostair and trial it . Sea air does help me so may be I will have to go away one winter to trial it as I can’t live like this every year . I dread winter

I do not know what type of heating you use at home, but this plays a part with my Asthma. If the heating is on alot I tend to sneeze and need to use the inhaler alot more. Try reducing the heat. The heat raises the dust mite in the home and this in turn can aggravate the Asthma. Alot of Asthma is caused by allergic reactions to the dust. Also, if you are going out in cold weather wear a scarf over your mouth and nose this helps to warm the air going into the lungs. hope this helps.

Thank you good advice I will try

Hi this happens to me most winters. I have no idea why it happens. Starts with my chest feeling very sore and a cough ends up with 2 lots of antibiotics and steroids.

Julesc12
Julesc12 in reply to purple64

Absolutely the same

Have you had an aspergillus allergy blood test. I have similar symptoms and I have the above allergy in my lungs

Julesc12
Julesc12 in reply to Martyob

No I don’t know what that is

I have been prescribed Flumicil and it has really helped. Aspergillus is everywhere but especially in damp areas, at this time of year. Some people are allergic and their lungs mount an immune response which results in more mucous, coughing etc. This can then become infected. I have bronchiectasis also, the aspergillus may have caused this or visa versa. Its a chicken and egg situation. If you have rinitis, sinus problems it is also a symptom. Since taking Flumicil which is prescription version of NAC I am getting my smell back, for first time in years. Best of luck.

Julesc12
Julesc12 in reply to Martyob

Really interesting and I will mention this to my doctor thank you for sharing and best wishes

Always been like this I dread winter.

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I also dread the winters always on abx and steroids however dread summer too with horrendous hayfever also end up on steroids and this year well, not sure what went so wrong but worst year yet asthma wise ?long covid? Coincidence? who knows. I spend as much of summer by beach or at least water as helps with allergies 😆🙊 been on steroids over a year now 🥴.

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