Lung Disease in the Winter – Healthy Speaker Series Recap - Wesbury Retirement Community

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Lung Disease in the Winter – Healthy Speaker Series Recap

January’s Healthy Living Program Series “Lung Disease in the Winter” was presented by Autumn Ferringer, Wesbury’s Assistant Director of Nursing.  Autumn’s presentation explained why cold weather and dry air can irritate chronic lung diseases such as: emphysema, bronchitis and asthma, and went over steps on how to keep your lungs healthy during the winter months.  Below are some of Autumn’s tips.

8 Steps to Keep Lungs Healthy in the Winter Months

  • Wash your hands – As we learned in our previous Healthy Speaker Series, “Is it the “Stomach Flu” or Is It Really Norovirus? ” 50% of potential illnesses are eliminated by hand washing.
  • Exercise – Exercising helps your lungs as it forces them to expand and improves lung capacity.
  • Increasing Fluid Intake – During the winter, air is very dry and can dry out your lungs creating a portal for bacteria to enter. Staying hydrated keeps mucous in the lungs thin.  It’s important to get phlegm up and out of your body so it doesn’t settle and start an infection.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke – Cigarette smoke can agitate your lungs and make it hard to breath.
  • Get your flu and pneumonia vaccines and stay away from people displaying flu or cold like symptoms. People with chronic lung diseases can be more susceptible for a tiny cold to turn into pneumonia.
  • Wear a face mask – In cold weather it is important to wear a face mask or a scarf to cover your nose and mouth. This helps warm the air you are breathing before it gets to your lungs.
  • Ask your doctor about Pulmonary Rehab – A specialized rehab program to help decrease symptoms of chronic lung diseases.
  • Pay attention to the weather – Cold, dry, air can irritate the lungs causing wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. It’s important to keep your lungs warm and this can be done by dressing in layers, and wearing a mask/scarf to cover your nose and mouth.

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