Viral Trench

Effects of Breathing Cold Air

When one says that the climate in his city is good, he usually means it’s not too hot and not too cold. Just as a too hot climate can cause health conditions like heat stroke, excessive tanning of the skin, and dehydration; cold climate and cold air can be harmful to the body too. Be it moving to an extremely cold country to spend the next few years of your life, or vacationing to a cold region for a few days; in both cases, you may wonder if the cold air there would affect you and in what ways! What are the effects of breathing cold air, after all? Let’s find out.
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Results of Breathing Extreme Cold Air

If you are not used to living in cold climatic conditions, you may face difficulty adjusting to the new climate. One of the first and most common effects found is flu or influenza. This is because the flu or the influenza virus thrives in winter or in cold climates. It spreads very easily in cold climates and hence, there are higher chances of a person contracting flu in winter or in cold climatic conditions. In most cases, the symptoms of common cold and flu (influenza) are often misinterpreted. It should be noted that it is the flu that is commonly found in cold conditions and not the common cold. However, rather than cool air, these conditions are commonly caused by low immunity or due to transmission from other infected people.

Now let us know what can be the potentially severe effects of breathing cold air. Most of us wonder if other lung disorders like pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, etc. are caused by breathing cold air. Asthma is definitely one such condition that may result from prolonged exposure to cold air. When a person breathes cold air, through his nose or mouth, his air tubes contract, making airflow difficult. The narrowing of the air tubes or the bronchioles can also trigger other respiratory disorders like bronchitis and emphysema. This is because the airflow gets restricted. Constant breathing of cold air (especially in the case of those whose work involves working outdoors in cold climatic conditions) can lead to frequent lung contracting which can lead to premature aging of the lungs. There has been no evidence of cold air causing pneumonia. Therefore, when talking about the effects of cold air on your lungs, we can say that inhaling cold air can trigger pre-existing lung conditions. There are hardly any cases of these conditions developing purely due to breathing cold air.

Protection Against the Harmful Effects of Breathing Cold Air

As mentioned here, there is a possibility of respiratory disorders being triggered due to constant exposure to cold air. Therefore, people need to take utmost care in order to protect themselves from it. Especially, babies, children, the old, and those suffering from lung conditions should take extra care when going for a holiday to a cold country or when thinking of shifting to a colder place. There are several preventive measures that can help in these conditions. Firstly, you can invest in a cold air mask (which is commonly obtained in drugstores) or cover your nose and mouth with a scarf (any soft scarf or face scarf) whenever you are outdoors. People suffering from asthma and other respiratory disorders should use bronchodilators to clear the airways. Lastly, one of the most important tips to reduce trouble breathing symptoms is to always breathe through the nose and never through the mouth. This is because, when we breathe through the nose, the nose warms up the air, and hence, there are fewer chances of the airways getting choked.

These were some of the effects of breathing cold air. As mentioned above, one should remember that living in a cold climate is never the only reason behind respiratory disorders. However, if you have pre-existing respiratory conditions, you should always consult a doctor before thinking of shifting to or visiting a colder place. Lastly, note that taking proper preventive measures can help in the prevention of these conditions to a great extent. Take care.

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