THE WINTERTIME AIR CAN MAKE IT A LITTLE HARDER
TO BREATHE. THE COLD, DRY AIR CAUSE OUR LUNGS TO CONTRACT,
BUT THERE ARE SOME PRECAUTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO HELP.
DR. MARIE BUDEV TREATS RESPIRATORY CONDITIONS AT CLEVELAND CLINIC.
SHE SAYS, WHEN YOU’RE OUT IN THE COLD, BREATHE IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE. “It’s really important to breathe in through
your nose. The nose is lined with multiple hairs and a lot of blood vessels. That’s
why your nose turns red when it gets really cold. What we’re trying to do is heat up
that air, so by the time it reaches the bottom of your lungs or your lungs themselves, that
air is now body temperature.” DR. BUDEV SAYS COLD AIR DOES NOT DAMAGE YOUR
LUNGS, BUT IT CAN BE UNCOMFORTABLE. SHE SAYS SOME PEOPLE WILL COMPLAIN OF MILD
CHEST PAIN OR A BURNING IN THE BACK OF THEIR THROAT.
IF YOU’RE HAVING TROUBLE BREATHING THROUGH YOUR NOSE, TRY PUTTING A SCARF AROUND YOUR
MOUTH. IT MAY HELP TO RETAIN THE MOISTURE IN THE
COLD AIR THAT WE BREATHE. ANYONE WITH AN UNDERLYING LUNG CONDITION CAN
ALSO WEAR A COLD AIR MASK UNDER THEIR SCARF AS AN ADDED PRECAUTION.
BUT DR. BUDEV SAYS YOU SHOULD ALWAYS THINK ABOUT PROTECTING YOUR LUNGS IN THE COLD. “I think if there is cold weather out there
and serious cold weather, whether you have lung disease or not, you’re putting yourself
at risk, whether it’s for 15 minutes or one hour. And you’re exerting yourself more
than you usually would to try to get the body warm. So, drink plenty of fluids, make sure
you’re wearing a scarf and warm up, warm up, warm up before you do any activity.” DR. BUDEV SAYS IF YOU DO BEGIN TO FEEL OUT
OF BREATH- DON’T PUSH IT. SHE SAYS TO TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS TO BE SAFE.