Winter Pneumonia Management: Ways To Protect Lungs In Cold Weather

According to doctors, they see more patients in cold weather for coughs and other respiratory issues than in any other season. Since people mostly stay indoors, and in closer proximity to each other, respiratory viruses easily spread from person to person. Read on to learn a few ways you can protect your overall health, especially your lungs.
winter pneumonia

Cold conditions allow viruses to stay suspended in the air longer as droplets of moisture around them evaporate quickly

New Delhi: Winter season can heighten the risk of pneumonia as dry and cold air irritates the airways and makes it difficult to even breathe in some people.
According to experts, many people – especially the elderly spend more time indoors during the winter months, increasing the risk of spreading respiratory infections.
Every year, as mercury drops, there is always a huge rise in the number of cases of pneumonia, COPD, asthma, and low immunity, so it is imperative to know how to strengthen your lungs.
Studies also say that cold and dry conditions allow viruses to stay suspended in the air longer as droplets of moisture around them evaporate quickly, making the viruses lightweight. In the summer, on the other hand, heavier droplets fall to the ground, where they are less likely to be inhaled.
So, what are the best ways to protect your airways this fall and winter?

Wash your hands

Even if it is cumbersome, make sure to regularly wash your hands with soap and water and disinfect them. According to doctors, germs spread through mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and mouth.
So, once viruses touch your hands, and subsequently other body parts, you are bound to fall sick.

Chronic disease management

It is extremely important to effectively manage underlying chronic health conditions like diabetes, and heart issues and strengthen your immunity to reduce the heightened risk of contracting pneumonia.

Modify lifestyle

Those with compromised immunity, especially the elderly, should make sure to take adequate care of their health by keeping warm to avoid contracting life-threatening diseases like pneumonia.

Maintain social distancing

Make sure to wear your mask when you go out in the cold, to avoid catching the virus. Doctors say since the cold air is dry, it can irritate the airways if you have asthma, COPD, or bronchitis. This can cause wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Also, make sure to dress warmly and keep yourself dry.

Be careful of wood-burning

It is a common practice to burn wood and fireplaces to keep yourself warm as the temperature drops. Even though it may seem a great way to ward off the cold, the smoke and fumes from fireplaces can be irritating if you have asthma, allergies, and other lung diseases, and heighten the risk of contracting pneumonia.

Keep your inhaler handy

If you have asthma or COPD, always keep your inhaler nearby, and as soon as you begin to experience difficulty breathing, immediately use your inhaler as you normally would.

Quit smoking

If you are a smoker, it is recommended to quit as exposure to tobacco suppresses the activation of innate immune responses to bacterial infection - the front-line defence mechanism considered important in susceptibility to pneumonia.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.
    What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is inflammation and fluid in your lungs caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. It makes it difficult to breathe and can cause a fever and cough with yellow, green, or bloody mucus. The flu, COVID-19, and pneumococcal disease are common causes of pneumonia.
  • Who is at the risk of getting pneumonia?
  • You are at an increased risk of pneumonia if you are - over the age of 65 and or under the age of two; are living with a lung or heart condition; are living with a neurological condition that makes swallowing difficult; are in the hospital or at a long-term care facility; smoke; are pregnant; have a weakened immune system
  • What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
  • The signs and symptoms of pneumonia include - high fever; cough with yellow, green, or bloody mucous; tiredness; rapid breathing; breathlessness; chest pain or abdominal pain; loss of appetite; confusion or altered mental state
  • Is pneumonia contagious?
  • According to doctors, pneumonia isn’t contagious, but the bacteria and viruses that cause it are. The flu is contagious and can lead to pneumonia, but most people who get the flu would not get pneumonia.
    End of Article