COPD – Dealing with West Texas Winter

Odessa weather forecast this week shows lows in the 30s and 40s.

People with COPD often find themselves in trouble during the winter season. The West Texas cold air can be a problem for many people with COPD and often causes them to have shortness of breath. The winter wind can also cause many problems leaving many feeling drained and fatigued. If you have to leave the comfort and warmth of your home, here are a few tips for you:

  1. Breathe right. Wear a scarf or mask and try to breathe through your nose to warm the air you breathe.
  2. Layer up. Wear several pieces of loose fitting garments so that you are protected against the cold. However, beware not to constrict your breathing. Layers will also allow for easy removal in case of ever-changing West Texas temperatures.
  3. Medicate before you mobilize. Ask your doctor if you can take an extra puff of your inhaler 20-30 minutes before you leave home.
  4. If you use oxygen, keep the tubing covered under your clothing to warm the air as much as possible.
  5. Make it quick. Limit your time in the cold as much as possible and do not tire yourself out. “Do not do out in the cold today what can be done on a warmer tomorrow!”

People with COPD must always take extra care of themselves year round, but it takes even more effort during winter months. Sure, we all want to be out and about. But if you have COPD, you must ask yourself – “Is it worth it?”.

People with COPD can enjoy the winter and breathe easier when proper precautions are taken.

So be safe, stay healthy and enjoy the West Texas winter!

 

Submitted by:

Rafael R. Rubalcado RRT, CTTS

Respiratory Educator

Cardiopulmonary Department

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