Winter Weather Advisory – Asthma, Cold Air and Exercise


Cold air can sometimes trigger an asthma episode. If cold, dry air passes into your mouth instead of being warmed by your nose first, it heads straight to your lungs and airways. This can trigger an asthma attack.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America suggests these steps for reducing your chances of having winter’s cold air trigger your asthma:

  • Wear a scarf or face mask over your mouth.
  • If you normally exercise outdoors, consider an indoor sport for the winter, like heading to a gym for swimming or basketball.
  • If you do need to go outdoors in cold weather, you may need to use your quick-relief inhaler (e.g. albuterol) before you go outdoors. Talk with your doctor about a pretreatment plan.

Asthma is a chronic disease. Be sure to check your symptoms and be alert if they get worse:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing (a whistling, squeaky sound when you breathe)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Chest tightness
It is important to stay up-to-date on news about asthma and allergies. By joining our community and following our blog, you will receive ongoing information about managing your health. Our community also provides an opportunity to connect with other people who manage asthma and allergies.


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I just bought several great mufflers/scarves so I can walk outside in cold weather without symptoms of cold weather affecting my lungs.  I bought the Octr Mistral Skube, which is sold at ski shops.  It is a light nylon tube that has elastic and a cord so it can tightened around the nose.  It doesn't fall down like an ordinary scarf.

In this article it talks about the possibility of "cold dry air" causing an asthma attack.  Does this also apply to cold "moist "air as I live in Nova Scotia, Canada and am surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean

All things that are difficult to avoid!

As for the asthma plan, I'd push back on the pulmonologist for one. If need be, print out the one on the site here and ask him to fill it out. No need to reinvent the wheel.

I am new here and new to allergic asthma. I have had allergies all my life, but asthma for only a year or so. I am trying to find some helpful information about some practical things I can do to manage my symptoms. The doctor gave me the diagnosis, but I am left on my own to figure out how to live with it. I am glad to find this community.