Causes and prevention of respiratory diseases that worsen in winter

Respiratory disease intensifies in winter.

January is coming to an end. It is a season where you can enjoy skiing and skating because it is snowing a lot these days, but it is not always a good time for respiratory patients.

As the weather becomes cold and dry, the activity of the virus becomes active and the bronchial tubes tend to contract, which increases respiratory infections such as colds and flu, and aggravates symptoms of chronic respiratory patients such as asthma and COPD.

Also, when winter passes and spring comes, nature has a new life, but many respiratory patients visit emergency rooms due to fine dust and yellow dust from China. Let's find out how to pass this period wisely and healthily.

Winter, what is the problem?

Cold, dry air in winter is an advantageous environment for viruses to be active and survive. In particular, flu-causing influenza viruses will increase and the flu will spread. Therefore, colds increase compared to summer, and people with respiratory problems can experience extreme difficulty breathing and deterioration compared to ordinary people, which requires caution. The bronchial tubes also tend to contract when exposed to cold, dry air, which is a major mechanism for motor-induced asthma. As a result, many respiratory patients such as asthma and COPD, which are airway diseases, are doing well in the summer, but in winter, breathing difficulties worsen and hospitalization becomes frequent.

How do you deal with it?

If you don't have any special respiratory problems, you can prevent many respiratory diseases by taking good care of hygiene first. Many viruses are infected through contact and smear, so hand washing and gargling are very important habits to protect respiratory health after going out. Respiratory diseases have weaker lungs than ordinary people, so even mild colds or pneumonia can cause severe breathing difficulties and sometimes life is at risk, requiring more aggressive prevention. It is recommended to refrain from going out in cold weather that falls below zero and wear a mask to prevent the respiratory system from being exposed to cold air directly when going out. It is also good to take care of your body healthily through hand washing and gargling, as well as getting enough nutrition and rest. However, as staying at home too much can weaken your winter muscles, it is better to go out during the day when the weather gets warmer and get some sunlight.

Also, it is essential for older people or those with respiratory problems to get a flu shot before winter comes, and it is recommended to get it around October to November, about two months before the flu epidemic. Flu viruses can change, so vaccination is needed every year.

In-between seasons, the temperature difference is so large that cold and pneumonia respiratory diseases can worsen due to temperature changes, and if the weather suddenly gets cold, not only respiratory diseases but also cardiovascular diseases can worsen. Asthma, in particular, is sensitive to fine dust and temperature changes, resulting in significant increases in emergency room visits. It is also good to refrain from going out on days with severe yellow dust, and make sure to wear a mask when going out. Let's all pay more attention to personal hygiene.