Winter can be an especially bad time for asthma attacks and flare ups.

Dr. Kyle Happel is a pulmonary critical care specialist in New Orleans. According to him, during the winter months “we see a lot more asthma exacerbations, a lot more folks that require rescue therapy use. They require sometimes oral prednisone, steroids.”

But why is winter worse for asthma? According to Dr. Happel there are two main reasons. 1.) The dry cold air irritates one’s airways. 2). The cold keeps people indoors, so they’re exposed to more indoor asthma triggers than usual.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do prevent asthma attacks during the winter months.

Avoid Exercising in the Cold

Since the cold air can irritate your lungs, Dr. Happel recommends exercising in gyms or walking around malls instead. If you do choose to exercise outside, make sure to bring your rescue inhaler.

Remember Your Control Medications

If you’ve been prescribed control medications to keep your asthma symptoms in check, take them. Sometimes people forget or choose not to if they’re feeling well. But this can be dangerous, especially during winter months.

Know Your Asthma Triggers

It’s important to know what triggers your asthma so you can avoid it and take extra precautions.

Get the Flu Shot

As we’ve mentioned before, flus are one of the most common asthma triggers out there. Plus, they’re just not fun to get. So avoid the risk and get a flu shot.

Practice Good Hygiene

Colds, along with the many other respiratory illnesses one can catch, are also a major asthma trigger. So avoid getting sick altogether by practicing good hygiene. One of the most simple and effective ways is just to wash your hands and avoid touching your face.