Staying warm in cold, winter weather is important for most people. But for individuals with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), staying warm is necessary for better lung function.
Cold weather can cause flare-ups in folks with COPD, worsening symptoms that can include coughing, shortness of breath and phlegm production.
So, how can you best manage COPD symptoms in colder weather? Below are a few tips:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf or mask when you go outside. Breathe through your nose to help warm the air entering your lungs.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Keep your body warm and comfortable by wearing layers of clothes that allow you to adjust to the temperature.
- If you use oxygen, keep your tubing under your coat or clothing to help keep the air as warm as possible.
- If the weather is bad, consider changing your schedule to avoid going out in it if possible.
- When inside, don’t use fireplaces. The wood can cause smoke build-up which can also aggravate COPD symptoms.