Have you noticed worsening asthma symptoms in your child? Have you found yourself wondering does winter trigger asthma flare-ups? Well, you are correct. Winter weather does trigger asthma flare-ups. But why does this happen? And how can it be avoided? We’ll review why asthma symptoms worsen in the winter and what you can do to prevent it.

Why does winter trigger asthma flare-ups?

  • Winter air is commonly cold and dry, which can cause airways to constrict. Windy conditions make this even more prominent.
  • The more severe your asthma is, the more likely cold air will have a negative effect.
  • Frequent weather changes common in winter means fluctuating air pressure. The changes in air pressure can be a trigger.
  • Illnesses like cold and flu are common in the colder months. These illnesses affect the respiratory system making it more difficult for those with asthma.
  • When spending more time indoors with the windows closed and the heat on, exposure to indoor triggers is likely. Common indoor asthma triggers include dust, mold, and pet dander.
  • Using open fires and wood-burning stoves is a way to warm up. However, these means give off pollutants that can worsen asthma symptoms.


How to avoid winter asthma flare-ups.

  • When going outdoors ensure scarves are being worn to shield the mouth and nose. This will lessen exposure to cold, dry air.
  • Stay warm. Warmer air will help open airways that have constricted due to the cold.
  • Be sure that inhalers are being used as soon as symptoms begin to appear. Getting ahead of worsening symptoms can make a big difference.
  • Stay on top of all asthma treatments and follow them as directed.
  • Know what indoor allergens can trigger your child’s asthma and clean often. Investing in an air purifier could be helpful when dealing with more extreme cases.
  • If pet dander triggers asthma symptoms, limit time with pets and keep them out of the bedroom.
  • Replace indoor air filters in a timely manner. Dirty filters can cause indoor allergens to flourish even after cleaning the home.
  • Be conscious of germs and try to avoid illness. Ensure hands are being washed frequently and remind children not to touch their faces.

When to visit the doctor.

If asthma symptoms have worsened to where your child needs to use their inhaler 3 or more times a week, schedule a visit with your doctor. There could be a better long-term treatment plan to manage these worsening symptoms.

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Sources: Nemours, Allergy & Asthma Network, Asthma and Lung UK