Emphysema Flare-Ups

Does cold weather make emphysema worse?

Written by: Lung Health
January 6, 2019

Preventing flare-ups is one of the main goals of emphysema treatment. Flare-ups of symptoms make it difficult to breathe, and severe flare-ups can threaten your quality life. Because of this, it’s important to identify what causes your flare-ups and how to avoid them.

Some of these causes include:

  • Smoking
  • Air pollution
  • Dust, smoke, chemical fumes and inhalable fibers
  • Allergens

Many people who have emphysema report having more flare-ups in colder weather too. This begs the question, “Does cold weather make emphysema worse?”

Effects of cold weather on emphysema

It is a wise idea for people with emphysema to limit their exposure to cold, dry air. This kind of air can cause the airways in your lungs to constrict. This makes it more difficult to breathe and can trigger symptoms to flare up.

Since you can’t stay trapped in your home throughout all of winter, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent cold weather from affecting your lungs. Fortunately, you have a few options.

Reducing the effects of cold weather on emphysema

  • Use a cold weather face mask — A cold weather face mask features a filter that helps warm the air before you breathe. These face masks are sold in many drugstores and convenience stores. 
  • Breath through your nose — Your nasal passage naturally warms the air as it passes down into your lungs. Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth can help add a little warmth to the air you breathe. 
  • Use a bronchodilator before going outside — If you’re prescribed a long-acting bronchodilator as part of your treatment, you may want to use it at least 30 minutes before going outside. This can help keep your airways open and prevent flare-ups. 
  • Use a humidifier in your home — Humid air can moisten the inside of your lungs to help reduce the effects of cold, dry air. Talk to your doctor about using a humidifier and what kinds of settings are right to use in your home.


Visit the Lung Health Institute for our Lung Restoration Treatment™

Lung Restoration Treatment is a treatment we offer that can help reduce inflammation in your lungs. This can help you breathe easier™ in the cold weather and reduce the number of flare-ups you experience.

This treatment uses cells from your own body to target and fight the inflammation in your lungs. It’s minimally invasive and can help people at all stages of emphysema.

Want to learn more? Take the next step to find relief. Contact Lung Health Institute today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

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Every day the Lung Health Institute is changing people’s lives. Our duty and obligation is to help our patients, and we know we are doing something special for them. We measure our success by our patients’ success and their satisfaction with our services and the care they receive from our dedicated staff.


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