While winter brings holiday cheer, it also presents a problem for people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In the same way that the spring season is synonymous with allergies, the cold winter season can aggravate COPD and trigger potentially deadly flare-ups.
Let’s talk about the challenges COPD patients encounter in the winter, how to control your condition this season, and where to find treatment for COPD here in Rochester.
Winter Tips if You Have COPD
Although there is no cure for COPD, there are effective ways to control the symptoms and to reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups. Here’s how you can protect your lungs this winter season:
Avoid Winter Triggers
Exposure to smoke, fumes, and dust can trigger a COPD episode. Avoid fireplace smoke and other common winter triggers as much as possible. You can also keep the indoor air warm and moist by using a humidifier, especially in your bedroom. If you’re going out, make sure to wear a scarf or other protective covering over your nose and mouth to help guard your lungs against the elements.
Eat a Healthy Diet
It might be tempting to indulge in lots of sweet treats during the holiday season but steer away from sodium-rich foods that facilitate water retention – and thereby exacerbate COPD. Eating high-salt foods like ham and dried meats can also trigger and worsen swelling, which is a common COPD symptom.
Try to limit your consumption of dairy, caffeine, and fried foods. Limit alcohol, but drink plenty of water to help your lungs naturally eliminate mucus as you exhale.
If you have COPD, you’re more likely to catch colds, flu, and pneumonia. You can reduce your risk of respiratory infections by staying up-to-date on your flu shots and other vaccinations.
People who are in high-risk groups of COPD should receive their annual flu shots by September, which is ahead of the beginning of flu season in October and November.
COPD Management in Rochester, New York
Although there’s no cure for COPD, you can still take control of the disease and not let it control you. With proper management, it’s possible to contain its symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, and lead a full and productive life.
If you’re experiencing a COPD flare-up, visit the medical experts at Cornerstone Urgent Care. Our emergency care team is highly trained in addressing the symptoms of COPD and other respiratory illnesses. Depending on your medical profile, we may prescribe medication or increase your dosage of medications to help get your symptoms under control. We will also show you how to manage COPD through lifestyle modifications and other treatment modalities.
We are open seven days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 7 pm on weekends. For inquiries, call us today at (585) 207-0088 or send us a message to let us know you’re coming. We look forward to seeing you!