Depending on the sufferer, the respiratory illness asthma can manifest itself in various ways. Some asthma sufferers find their condition is made worse by exposure to dust, whereas others will experience unpleasant tightness of breath while exercising.

One often overlooked cause of asthma aggravation is changes in temperature – that is, air temperature. This problem tends to present itself during winter, when a sufferer goes from a warm building inside and out in to cold air. This sudden change causes the lining of the lungs to contract in shock, and can trigger coughing fits, shortness of breath and wheezing in asthma sufferers. This can make winter an extremely unpleasant season for anyone affected.

There are various ways to deal with the issue, though none are 100% effective – but you can look to improve the situation. First and foremost; wrap up warm! The warmer you are when you step outside, the better chance your lungs will have with coping with the sudden change. A scarf, wrapped around the neck and preferably tucked in to the chest, is your best form of defense

It is also best to give your lungs chance to adjust to the change in temperature – so when you go outside, don’t suddenly start walking or exercising. Stand still and take shallow-to-medium breaths for a few minutes, so your lungs can adjust while they are in a relaxed state. If you change temperatures and then suddenly ask your lungs to work harder – such as by walking immediately – they will struggle to deal with the change all the more. Take it slowly and give your lungs a good chance to adapt.

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