Can Cold Air Trigger Asthma?

January 31, 2022

Asthma is a severe long-term respiratory disease. Variations in weather due to fluctuations in air pressure can trigger attacks in asthmatic patients. Perhaps this is why the winter season and asthma are no friends.

Winter produces cold air, which irritates the bronchial tubes and worsens asthma symptoms. At this stage, asthmatic patients may experience trouble breathing if the cold air enters their airways.

Trouble breathing arises when airway inflammation arises from cold, dry air getting into the lungs. Hence, cold air triggers unpleasant asthma flare-ups. Due to this, some asthmatic patients struggle to survive in cold weather.

Note that it is not all asthmatic patients that experience cold triggers. However, a large percentage of asthmatic patients have exercise-induced asthma. Exercise-induced asthma patients are the most likely to get attacks during winter because they are more exposed to cold air.

The providers at AFC Urgent Care Methuen can help treat your symptoms and teach you remedies to avoid future attacks. Asthma is no joke, so it's important to be prepared as temperatures drop in the winter. Visit our walk-in center today.

Symptoms of Winter Asthma

Several triggers cause asthma. However, cold air triggers are usually the most prevalent and irresistible. Cold triggers don't have a peculiar symptom. When an asthmatic patient flares up due to cold air triggers, the same symptoms will manifest just like other triggers.

Some symptoms of winter asthma include:

  • Wheezing, most especially when breathing out.
  • Shortness of breath resulting in trouble breathing.
  • Feeling of tight discomfort around the chest.
  • Dry cough or cough with phlegm.


Cold air can be a top trigger for asthma. However, asthma will only flare up due to other dangerous triggers accompanying the cold air.

Below are three other asthma triggers:

  • Molds:

Molds are fungi growing in the form of a filament with many cells known as hyphae. Excessive exposure to molds can cause some allergic reactions.

These allergic reactions give rise to irregularities in the upper and lower respiratory system. Anomalies in the respiratory tract induce asthma attacks, thereby triggering its symptoms.

Asthma symptoms mainly triggered by molds include shortness of breath, irritation, wheezing and dry cough.

  • Dust Mites:

Cold air makes asthmatic patients feel uncomfortable. So, they try to stay indoors to avoid attacks during winters. But, dust mites in an enclosed home can be a major problem.

Dust mites are tiny, microscopic bugs usually found in a damp, warm home. Most asthmatic patients are allergic to dust mites, making it one of the harshest asthma triggers.

Dust mites also accelerate the inhalation of dry air and irritate the airways, causing difficulty breathing.

  • Pets:

One crucial precaution all asthmatic patients should observe to secure their health is to avoid keeping furry pets. However, if you can't do without pets, then go for furless and featherless animals if possible.

Furry and feathered animals produce animal dander, a dangerous trigger for asthma attacks. Animal dander is made up of proteins from urine, hair, saliva, skin flakes, and many other products of furry and feathered animals.

Handling Winter Asthma

Any asthmatic patient caught up in cold weather should find ways to protect themselves. Probably you find yourself in a country that experiences the greatest cold-like Russia.

Here are ways you can help yourself.

  • Always cover your mouth and nose closely with a scarf to breathe in warm air.
  • Don't go for outdoor exercises in icy conditions.
  • Sleep on an allergen-proof mattress.
  • Get a humidifier in your home to scare off molds.
  • Always keep a short-acting albuterol inhaler close to you in case of sudden attacks.
  • Get the flu vaccination to prevent mucus from blocking your airways.
  • Inhibit the growth of dust mites and molds by keeping your home cool.

If your asthma symptoms happen to persist after observing all these tips, then consult a medical practitioner.

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