People with asthma are being urged to stay safe during the current cold spell, as cold weather can be a serious trigger for the condition.
"During cold spells, people need to be particularly careful and proactive in managing their asthma to avoid having an asthma attack, which for some people, can be fatal. Some 470,000 people in Ireland have asthma and one of these people tragically dies every week," commented Sarah O' Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland.
The society offers the following tips for managing asthma in cold weather:
-Take your prescribed controller medication every day and have your reliever inhaler with you at all times
-It is important to use a reliever inhaler before going out in frosty, damp conditions
-On cold windy days, wear a scarf over your nose and mouth. This will help to warm up the air before you breathe it in
-Take extra care when exercising in cold weather. Warm up for 10-15 minutes and take two puffs of your reliever inhaler before you start. Exercise indoors if possible
-Wash your hands regularly
-Check the weather forecast. Try to avoid trips outside during particularly cold, wet, and windy weather, which could make breathing more difficult
-Colds and flu are common at this time of the year and are also a trigger for asthma. Try to avoid contracting the flu virus by getting the flu vaccine, getting plenty of sleep and eating healthy foods. These can all help boost your immunity and decrease the risks of contracting the flu
-If you suspect someone has a cold or the flu, keep your distance where possible
-Cover your mouth when sneezing using a tissue. This tissue should be binned afterwards
-Try to get into the habit of not touching your face as this is often how the flu is spread
-Regularly clean hard surfaces such as your phone, keyboard and door handles.
Meanwhile, the society reminded people that they can call its free Asthma and COPD Adviceline on 1800 44 54 64 if they have any questions about managing their asthma.
For more information on the Asthma Society, click here