asthma

Doctors Say This One Thing Could Help You Breathe Easier in Extreme Cold

Breathing in the bitter cold is challenging for many of us. Doctors say one of the best things we can do to protect our lungs and airways is the wear a scarf —that helps warm up the air.

Natalia Coria says when she stepped outside Tuesday morning she felt like she couldn’t breathe.

"It was really cold," she said.

Doctors say cold air can make it harder to breathe and it can also be dangerous —especially for people with asthma or bronchitis.

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Dr. Hector Cajigas is a pulmonologist at Northwestern Hospital.

"If we breath through our mouth or are exposed to very cold weather for long time, the air goes straight into our bronchi," he said. "Our body tries to warm and humidify the air that we inhale. When it gets cold our body tries to do the same but its harder cause air is colder and dryer."

Cajigas says it’s important to try and warm the air when you’re outside. His advice? Wear a scarf because it helps warm the air we breath.

Other ways you can protect yourself in this extremely cold air:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf
  • Monitor air quality forecasts
  • Keep medications close
  • Avoid wood burning fireplaces
  • Maintain good ventilation
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