Cool air intensifies asthma concerns

Cold weather
Cold weather

Winter has come and with it the potential of flare ups for those who suffer from asthma. An inflammatory condition of the airways, asthma affects 1 in 9 Australians and was responsible for the deaths of 419 Australians in 2019.

The prevalence in Tasmania is 2% higher than the national average with the condition affecting 1 in 8 or an estimated 66,000 Tasmanians.

“The colder weather at this time of year can really create difficulties and frustrations for those with asthma, leading to symptoms like tightness in the chest, breathing difficulties, wheezing, and in the worst cases, increased numbers of hospitalisations and deaths,” Asthma Australia CEO Michele Goldman said.

To help those who suffer from asthma to maintain a good quality of life throughout winter, Asthma Australia recommends:

  • Always take your preventer inhaler: preventer inhalers are most efficacious after several weeks of continuous use and work to lessen airway inflammation and reduce the severity of response to inhaled irritants.
  • Wear a scarf: a scarf or other material covering the nose and mouth can aid in humidifying the air that you breathe and mitigate asthma symptoms caused by inhaling cool, dry air.
  • Avoid cool air: aim to avoid going outside when the temperature is lowest such as early in the morning or in the evening.

If you are experiencing new or worsening symptoms of asthma, it is recommended that you visit your GP or other health professional to establish a diagnosis or improve your care plan.

For further information, visit Asthma Australia at asthma.org.au

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