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British Lung Foundation
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Cold Weather Syndrome

This cold weather is really getting to me. In the summer I can walk quite far, but this time of the year I can only walk about 50 yards and Ive had it. I wrap a scarf around my mouth to stop the cold air going in, but it doesn't seem to work. I am sob.

Has anyone any hints or tips as of what to do?. I have COPD with 30% lung function

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26 Replies

My husband is about the same - well 27%! The cold weather is horrendous for him. He can hardly walk 20 m - he was given oxygen for exercise and finds that helps a little but as soon as the cold air hits his lungs he literally freezes up! He tried the scarf but felt as if he was suffocating. I am sorry I don't have an answer but at least you are not on your own!!! Let s hope this cold snap is just that a snap that quickly disappears! Lots of love TAD xxx. Ps just one thing my husband was told to use his reliever about five mins before going out xx

It isn't much help to you but I'm exactly the same...walk as far as Kitty's gate and I'm done for...even with oxygen and a scarf round my face...so now I exercise indoors and wait for the Spring


I agree with Vashti, wait for the spring. It seems years away but it will come. I quite like nestling away in this new little bungalow, allowing for other problems in my life. Big fear that if it gets icy, I wont be able to sort the dustbins out. Yes, they wont have wheely bins around here. Archaic!!

Get your neighbour to do your dustbin,s

No, I cant. THey are all ancient around here - smiley!!

Pergola, I really like the idea of nesting in your bungalow. As for the bin, i don't know how your scheme works, but here I can phone the council and say taht I'm disabled and teh bin is too heavy for me. As long as I can drag it to the front door (visible from outside, so to speak) they come and get it... and bring it back!

Have you got spikes that you adapt to your shoes. They are a real bonus to wlak on ice. I got them because i fell. It's a bit strange at first, but being to walk on ice without falling is good.

OK! Time to hibernate! Mic

Hi irenec if I do go out this time of year I always have my Buff on which is quite good at keeping the cold out,plus a non wool scarf but Im always on Gertie ( my scooter) never walking,when I stop at all the steam then rises to my glasses so then blind as a bat haha soon sorted though. Blessings to you :) Janexx



I must be thick but what is a buff? x

Hi mw77 if you are able to click on the link in my reply to Irenec ,you will see far better than I can actually explain they are brilliant in my opinion really make a difference. I shall try and put a picture up if Iam able as very thick when it comes to computers haha. Blessings :). Janexx


Thanks very much the picture came through , so I will try one out.x

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Good game mw77 I think your be pleased.Blessings to you :) Janexxx

mw77. It's really a long tube made of wool or synthetic material. YOu apss it over your head. You can extend it over your mouth and from behind you can pull it over your ears and head.Against the wind it's really good. last winter, I put 2 on!


Thanks very much, seems like a great Ideal , will buy one. Winter!!!!

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Thanks for that link Jane,just ordered one ,looks like what I,ve been looking for,regards D.

Hi FarmerD my pleasure I wouldnt be without mine a godsend really help even if I go out on Gertie and the cold is then really in your face,my eyes get chilly mind,but rarely go out in this cold frightens me a little,takes my breath in an instant and the sudden change from hot to cold is a killer to me have actually just collapsed on a couple of occasions have learned not to now.Blessings to you D :) Janexx

I'm an odd one ! I've just finished my evening shift. Outside work. Minus 2 tonight. The odd thing is, I breathe ok in those conditions. Maybe it's because I've always worked outside and my lungs, the bits that work, are used to it. :)

Snoods are really good at keeping your neck and face warm, Irene. You can pull it right up to under your eyes, to keep the cold air out.

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I have COPD, am on oxygen 24/7, and the cold affects me too. I take the dog for his walk, with my cylinder on my back, and pick up the paper at the same time but have to curtail the distance during the winter. If I over-do things I tend to get very lethargic and sleepy and have dropped off a couple of times last week sometimes at 10-00 in the morning. I think back to summertime and am continually amazed at how much I could achieve when the weather was warm. I can understand why some people with breathing difficulties emigrate to warmer climes but it's not for me, I'll stick it out in the land of my fathers.

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At least you can get out even for a bit,it effects me the same,I can't go out as I don't have any oxy,I have to wait til I get the results of scan.well overdue,I thought I would go away,but it gets too hot abroad,who knows I might not be able to do heat,at least in this country I can stay in and paint for a couple of months,stay away from Germs n people .

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Outside is no longer my friend once it gets to 3c and below it starts to slow me down even very short distances seem to be so hard. I do have a scarf but do not have it tight to the mouth and that helps me.

Be WEll

Sorry irenec but me too...I have advanced COPD and now winter is upon us I will also be staying indoors to exercise until the spring. It is the nature of this beast.

Hi Irene, I am exactly the same. I don't go out; I do my shopping online with Sainsbury (Tesco, Ocado, they do it too). I have a volunteer driver to take me to the gym. I have no oxy (got rid of it going to the gym!) But the cold, the bracing North wind, the rain and coming soon the snow are all weathers I avoid. If I go out to church (500 yards away) I really gasp. I have to stop, turn away from the wind (difficult to walk backward, though!) I did buy a buff, or snood, or tube, that helps a bit, but not enough to "enjoy" walking around. If you know a place where to hibernate, please tell me :-) Keep warm, duvet cover, hat and scarf for the night and even an electric blanket. Ah well, have a hot, comforting hot chocolate for reading this! Mic

Pointless pushing yourself irenec...if you have no choice but to go out, don't try it on a very cold or even windy day. Try and breath through your nose rather than mouth, this at least warms the air before it hits your tubes, it also regulates your breathing too..but to be honest it's hibernation time for all of us, so don't worry you aren't on your own.

Call up the council or whoever is responsible for emptying your bins and notify them that you are disabled or have an impairment, and you aren't able to put your bin out, they'll notify the drivers/collectors and your bin will be sorted out (they have a legal obligation, but only if you tell them you're disabled).

I do my shopping online, if you haven't tried it then now is probably the time, one thing about it..there's no impulse buying!! I don't mind paying the delivery charge, just so long as I don't have to trail around a cold store (they seem to be on an economy drive too) taking goods off shelves into my trolley, out of the trolley onto the belt, back into the trolley, into the car, out of the car, into the house..and finally into the cupboards...PHEW!!! Though in this weather I'd be lucky to get to 'Ar' Gate' let alone be able to step into my car!!

Have a word with your utility company if you haven't already, tell them you need the heating on 24/7, some are good and will give you as much help as they can....then stay as warm as toast inside, until the days begin to get longer and you can skip (Ahh those were the days.. ;-) )out of the house without a scarf or hot water bottle strapped to you.

Stay safe..

Stay in,lol.

Thank you everyone for your advice. I had to go to the hospital today with my husband. He is disabled and confined to a wheel chair. I put a big scarf on and I breathed through my nose. I didn't get out of breath as much as I normally do.

Again thank you


I was reading all of this thread and learning or trying to learn too. I live in San Diego California USA and am new to this disease. Tomorrow I go for an arterial blood gas test so the doctor can order oxygen for me. I am stage 3 but last night when the weather changed I got low oxygen upon slight exertion and a higher pulse rate. I know because I was checking myself with a pulse oxymeter that I purchased.. Well needless to say the symptom scared me and the weather temperature was only 45 degrees farenheit but the humidity was 98%. This morning I am better and the temperature is 67 but the humidity is only 41... So I am thinking the humidity is the problem, but not sure yet.. I don't know if this helps anyone but I thought it would not hurt to share..

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