While winter weather can be beautiful, it also can bring a variety of health concerns. With winter being peak cold and flu season, it is no secret that illnesses tend to circulate during this time. However, for those with underlying conditions, the colder weather can bring unpleasant side effects. For those with asthma, winter weather may bring additional challenges to everyday life. Learn more about the effects of cold weather on asthma. Visit AFC Urgent Care Edgewater for symptom diagnosis and treatment.
The Effects of Cold Air on Lung Health
If you have ever gone outside in cold weather, you may be aware that it can irritate your lungs. It is not unusual to feel shortness of breath due to exposure to cold temperatures. This is because your lungs prefer to be warm and moist. When they are exposed to cold air during the winter, you may feel the urge to cough or feel tightness in your chest as your lungs try to protect themselves.
For those with underlying health conditions, this extra irritation to the lungs can cause existing conditions to flare up. This is particularly true for those with asthma. Cold air can make asthma worse by triggering the symptoms of an asthma attack. Cold air can trigger asthma symptoms due to the irritation to the airways. Cold air also causes your lungs to produce Histamines, which are the same substance that your body creates when it is exposed to allergens. This can cause asthma symptoms such as wheezing and chest tightness, just from breathing outdoors.
Common Winter Respiratory Illnesses
Along with cold weather, the winter season brings a variety of respiratory illnesses with it. During the colder winter months, your body naturally produces extra mucus, which can trap viruses and bacteria and increase your chances of getting sick. Similarly, viral infections tend to spread much quicker in the winter months due to the increase of indoor activities.
Many respiratory illnesses can cause symptoms that are similar to asthma symptoms. It is important to understand whether your symptoms could be asthma flare-ups or just a viral infection.
Common respiratory illnesses include:
Respiratory illnesses can surface many similar symptoms to asthma symptoms. you can look for these early symptoms to help determine whether you may have an infection, or your lungs are just irritated from the cold weather:
●A productive cough
When to Seek Medical Treatment for Respiratory Symptoms
With winter being peak season for many illnesses, including a variety of respiratory illnesses, it can be difficult to understand why you are experiencing lung irritation. In most cases, respiratory illnesses resolve on their own. However, if your symptoms are severe or persistent, then you should seek a formal medical diagnosis. In most cases, respiratory illnesses are contagious, which is why it is important to understand when your symptoms are due to the weather, or due to an infection, so you can take appropriate steps to isolate yourself from others.
If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms even after being indoors, you may be suffering from lung irritation due to a different underlying cause. The increased time indoors can expose us to allergens such as mold and mildew. A medical professional can evaluate your lungs and perform allergy testing to discover the underlying cause of your symptoms and create an appropriate treatment plan.
Visit AFC Urgent Care Edgewater for Respiratory Symptom Diagnosis & Treatment
If you’re suffering from lung irritation this winter, it is critical to identify the cause of your symptoms so that you can get the appropriate treatment. Although lung irritation is possible with no underlying conditions, ensuring that you are not suffering from a contagious illness can help ensure you get early treatment and avoid spreading your infection to others. For rapid same-day diagnostic testing for respiratory symptoms, visit AFC Urgent Care Edgewater.
Our medical providers are board-certified and available seven days a week for diagnostic testing. We never require an appointment to receive fast and reliable care. Simply walk into our clinic, or schedule an appointment online. We accept most medical insurance plans and offer affordable care for patients paying out of pocket. For additional questions regarding our clinic, please contact us directly.