When you have a breathing condition like asthma or COPD (which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis), avoiding common triggers can help you better manage your condition.
If it’s cold and windy, cover your nose and mouth when you’re outside—scarves and painter’s masks may help.
If heat and humidity are your triggers, stay indoors with the air conditioning on.
Outside, pollen and smog may be the culprits. Indoors, pet dander and fumes from cleaning products can be added to the list. All of these can trigger breathing problems. If you have to be outside, wear a mask during activities like yard work. If you’re indoors, thorough and regular cleaning is important. Consider getting an air purifier to help filter harmful irritants from the air.
Infections of the lungs and airways, like the cold and flu, can worsen symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath (SOB). You can help prevent infections by washing your hands regularly with soap and running water and avoiding contact with sick people. Also, ask your doctor about a yearly flu shot and other preventative measures.