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Asthma in the winter

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  • #21
    RN weighs in here to help!

    Try this!
    Very, very important to stay very well hydrated before & after physical exertion in the cold.

    But MOST IMPORTANT; need to prevent cold air from going into your lungs or minimizing cold air intake so......breathe thru you nose at all times outside AND warm your intake air by wearing a scarf around your nose/mouth to warm the air you're taking in. A neck gator, scarf, bandana all would work. Not too tight but enough to create a nice pocket of warm moist air around your mouth. Even a cheap face mask like the paper disposable ones. Altho' we know that if we are really exerting they don't cut it. It's the shock of cold that triggers an asthma attack as well as the dryness of the air.
    Been there, done that!

    Comment


    • #22
      Aww...people who can relate to my breathing issues...

      I came home from my in-laws over Christmas who are heavy smokers. I had bronchitis not even 24 hours later. I was dying..and dragged myself to the Urgent care. 2 doses of the zpack and I was hacking up the lungs cr@p. My inlaws don't understand that when they smoke..I can't breathe.

      My BO has allergies ilke I do so we both are a mess. Hay cutting season neither of us are in the barn. The men..load the hay into the barn. We are in the house supervising.

      I love riding in indoors but have to wear a dust mask. I am still trying to figure out how I can show and wear a dust mask.

      Cold will cause my asthma to go haywire which is why in the winter I don't ride much, or exercise outside.
      OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
      Tuggy - RIP 9/12/2016 - Wait for me at the bridge
      Foster LolaMaria AKA LolaBean (Boxer)

      Comment


      • #23
        I am a dry asthmatic so this is how my seasons go:

        Spring: Worst season for me. I live where the northern trees and the southern trees converge so I am in h-e-double hockey sticks. I go on my heaviest doses. Singular/Asamex on top of allergy eye drops and one of the nose (AQ only please) allergy meds. I am positively miserable health wise, but love the temps, the weather and I am giddy about being outside, so I do what I need to. Humidity/Temps wise it's the best.

        Summer: Meh. When it's muggy and hot, I can't breathe. It's like an elephant is on my chest. I have to keep my eye on the color codes for air because a couple of years ago I was moving cinder blocks during a code red day and 2 days later almost wound up admitted to the hospital. Before I work in the barn I take my inhaler.

        Fall: Allergies (eyes) from tree leaves.

        Winter: The cold dry air hurts, so I cover my mouth to help create a bit of warmth then I am okedokie. I always take my inhaler before I ride just in case.

        The best I ever felt was living in San Diego. Unfortunately, my job is now here, so I suffer through. Riding actually helps quite a bit because it's one of the few places I am totally relaxed which helps with the breathing too.

        I have found yoga really helps my asthma, and believe it or not so does going to the chiropractor. On more than one occasion when I couldn't breath after I saw her I could. Something about my rib cage shifting over.
        Nothing is as good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse. Sir Winston Churchill.
        ***

        Comment


        • #24
          Ahhhh, my asthma family. We can relate sista's!!

          If I know I'm going to be doing slightly more strenuous work at the barn when it's cold, I will take an albuterol hit before I get out of the car. I'll also wrap my nose and mouth in a scarf.

          Best thing, though, is Pursed Lip Exhale Breathing. (I used to play trumpet, so caught onto this technique quickly.) I'll take in a breath, then tighten/purse my lips and slowly (but with effort) push the air out. Then relax and breath normally. Often I can head-off that stabbing that comes on before an attack.

          Funny, but helpful side effect from that breathing technique: I've improved my breath control when I sing Go figure!

          Ditto the hot, steamy showers or baths. I absolutely ADORE the Vapor Bath that you get in the baby aisle in the store. A goodly squirt in a hot tub, get in and close the shower curtain to contain it. Breathe deep and slow. Ahhhhhh

          And lastly, for those night-time coughs --now DON'T laugh-- rub the bottom of your bare feet with Vicks Vap-O-Rub, put on socks and go to bed. For whatever reason, this old Southern remedy WORKS!
          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

          Comment


          • #25
            I can also relate. I always felt like I was the only one.
            I had a bad attack at the farm last year so at least they now really understand how bad it can be.
            I use Advair and it's the only thing that works. I swell up some from it and doctors aren't sure why but I can breathe so I have to take the swelling. I do take nasonex and the Zyrtec equivalent. I'm allergic to everything environmental but too chicken to do shots. I also developed food allergies at 40! and ended up in ER by ambulance. I couldn't breathe!
            Summer with high humidity is terrible and I have days I can hardly walk from my car to the front door! My mother made gators out of fleece material for the really cold weather and they help a lot. I wear the paper masks when grooming during shedding season or if my guy is particularly dirty.
            I'm going to try some of the remedies listed and see if they help. Advair is soooo expensive that I beg the doctors for samples too.
            People don't realize how hard it is to have asthma. You can't see it but certainly suffer from it.

            Comment


            • #26
              A variation on the pursed lips breathing:

              http://www.copd-breather.com/

              And if you live in a humid climate and try the dry salt thing...good luck. Mine turned into really, really, really viscous salt water because it absorbed so much from the air.

              Comment


              • #27
                This is a tricky one because if you're up and walking, how sick can you be? My issue with the bronchial problems is that if I don't stay upright, everything collects, and then getting it cleared just sucks all the energy out of you. Of course, when you're on oxygen deficit, and you're on antibiotics, and you're running a low grade fever, and hacking up, and you can't sleep through the night, well, amazing how it takes a while before you get your energy levels back up. Even though it is no longer as cold, I find myself out of breath very easily now (well, the infection is cleared up, but the asthmatic inflammation remains).

                I do better in the warmth, but then, the emergency inhalers also don't work for me.
                www.specialhorses.org
                a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  I'll have to try ChocoMare's breathing technique. I usually try to calm my breathing by taking slow breaths in, slow breaths out...but that doesn't always work.

                  Still trying to figure out some triggers. I know the cold air is a problem for me but today it was about 50 degrees and I still had problems. Perhaps it was the weather change?

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Well, dry can be problematic. But moist can also be an issue as then the amount of nasty stuff like mold increases. And if you've had an inflammatory episode, it won't go away just because it gets nicer. Do you know if you have other triggers?
                    www.specialhorses.org
                    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I don't have asthma, but I have quite a collection of allergies that make my life challenging. I had a thought for those of you who said a hot shower helped.

                      My husband bought me a facial steamer to try to help clear my sinuses. It essentially makes my nose clear for a while just like a hot shower does. I use it for ten minutes and it helps for a couple of hours.

                      Rebecca

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I gave myself allergy shots for 12 years and they helped tremendously.
                        After all those years, the allergist said we had done what we could and go on without them.
                        I first tested allergic to 72 of 75 substances, so it was bad.
                        Asthma on top of that and I had serious trouble, so much he reccomended I go on SI and quit working.
                        No way, I got relief with inhalers enough to keep going and the shots eventually reduced the symptoms threshold, so I am doing fine now just with Advair.

                        To learn to manage the bad days, it helps to use
                        a peak flow meter, that little plastic gadget that tells you how much, or little you can breathe.
                        If you are really getting low, take care and use the inhaler, before pushing thru and ending in the hospital, or dead.

                        My grandmother died of an ashtma attack at 44.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Today i was teaching lesson in an indoor. Two horses were trotting around and my chest will filling up. I had to tell the girls to walk a bit.

                          I used my inhaler some.

                          I am hoping to hit the gym but exercising outside can't be done with this cold right now.
                          OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
                          Tuggy - RIP 9/12/2016 - Wait for me at the bridge
                          Foster LolaMaria AKA LolaBean (Boxer)

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            For about 20 years, I used my regular albuterol inhaler many times a day...if I went anywhere without it (even leaving it behind in the car to go in a store), I would almost go into a little panic. When riding, I would always tell whoever I was riding with where I kept my inhaler, too, just in case I would need it.

                            However, Advair has changed my life. I've been on it for about three years now. I'm prescribed to take it twice a day, but I only take it once a day and I am fine. I don't think I've refilled my rescue inhaler since I've been on the Advair (although, now thinking about it, I guess I should because it's probably expired). I feel very fortunate that the Advair is effective. Riding and grooming, particularly, was always so difficult for me prior to using the Advair.

                            To speak to the OP, winter was always the most difficult time of year for me. Even now, I use a scarf or neck warmer (love the ones from LL Bean!) all the time. Old habits die hard, I guess. Now I'm so accustomed to them, I feel naked without one.

                            I feel for everyone struggling with asthma. It is such a difficult condition. Hope you all are doing well
                            "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Advair comes in two strenghts.
                              I use the milder 100/50 and one puff twice a day, is all I need.
                              I have not used the rescue inhaler but maybe twice a year since, when before I had to use it several times a day.

                              I was wondering if Advair would quit working over time, but even after these many years, it is still just as effective.

                              All the other kinds that came before, even the ones thru nebulizers, I tried them all, but not one of them worked.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Allergies

                                Originally posted by 1tblvr View Post
                                I can also relate. I always felt like I was the only one.
                                I had a bad attack at the farm last year so at least they now really understand how bad it can be.
                                I use Advair and it's the only thing that works. I swell up some from it and doctors aren't sure why but I can breathe so I have to take the swelling. I do take nasonex and the Zyrtec equivalent. I'm allergic to everything environmental but too chicken to do shots. I also developed food allergies at 40! and ended up in ER by ambulance. I couldn't breathe!
                                Summer with high humidity is terrible and I have days I can hardly walk from my car to the front door! My mother made gators out of fleece material for the really cold weather and they help a lot. I wear the paper masks when grooming during shedding season or if my guy is particularly dirty.
                                I'm going to try some of the remedies listed and see if they help. Advair is soooo expensive that I beg the doctors for samples too.
                                People don't realize how hard it is to have asthma. You can't see it but certainly suffer from it.

                                Do you have any other weird symptoms? The reason I ask is that I am from Ellicott City and had some of the same problems as you for years. Late onset allergies, asthma, the whole works. Finally after a very stressful year, came down with severe flu like symptoms and painful joints. It was Lyme Disease. Since being diagnosed and treated, which took many doctors and years, the allergy symptoms are almost completely gone. Just a thought. The Columbia, Ellicott City, Marriottsville area is a hotbed of lyme and ticks. Any by the way, if I ever had a bulls eye rash, don't recall seeing it.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  The best counter-offensive to asthma is a two-pronged attack:

                                  First - immunotherapy!!! Be it shots or drops
                                  http://www.allergydrops.net/
                                  - makes a huge difference.
                                  Your lungs can fight off many irritations and allergens but reducing the ones they are most susceptible to should go a long way to keeping you breathing freely. Ten years later, I have no problem with dust, mold or dog hair.
                                  Second - Advair! I still use the low dose 100/50 at half-dosage now (once a day) and can't recall the last time I reached for a rescue inhaler. (Singulair is bad for your liver, BTW)

                                  Heck - I used to spend winter teaching in a moldy, dusty indoor and managed to keep my breath.
                                  ... It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that Shwung

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    all of the meds have possible/probable negative side effects, including advair. But it beats not breathing!
                                    www.specialhorses.org
                                    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I must admit I am not crazy about inhaled corticosteroids - of course it beats straight oral prednisone! But it also beats not being able to breathe!
                                      www.specialhorses.org
                                      a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

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