Friday, September 22, 2023

Does Cold Air Make Pneumonia Worse

Cant Breathe Easy It May Be A Sign Of Respiratory Disease

World Pneumonia Day: What is Pneumonia? How Does Air Pollution Make Matters Worse? | The Quint

If shortness of breath, wheezing, congestion, trouble swallowing or other respiratory symptoms are making daily life uncomfortable, it may be a sign of respiratory disease. Main Line Health pulmonologists are dedicated to helping you breathe better and improving your quality of life. Visit one of our expert pulmonologists, located throughout the Philadelphia region.

Main Line Health serves patients at hospitals and health centers throughout the western suburbs of Philadelphia. To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, or use our secure online appointment request form.

How Bad Do You Feel With Pneumonia

The symptoms of viral pneumonia usually develop over a period of several days. Early symptoms are similar to influenza symptoms: fever, a dry cough, headache, muscle pain, and weakness. Within a day or two, the symptoms typically get worse, with increasing cough, shortness of breath and muscle pain.

Don’t Make These Mistakes

Here we go again: You woke up this morning, and that cold you felt coming on is now in full bloom. Your head hurts. Your throat feels sore, and you have a cough. With more than 200 different types of viruses responsible for the common cold, you’re likely to get sick a few times a year or more, according to the National Institutes of Health. As an adult, youre likely to have two or three colds a year, and kids catch eight or more colds a year on average. If you treat it properly, your cold is likely to last a week or two. But if you don’t, it could lag on longer. Here are some common mistakes that prolong cold and flu misery.

Recommended Reading: What Is The New Pneumonia Shot Called

Exercising In Very Cold Weather Could Harm Lungs Over Time Researcher Cautions

High-intensity running or ski racing below -15 C can cause irreparable lung damage, says exercise physiologist who recommends three ways to prevent it.

Vigorous exercise in temperatures below -15 C makes it harder for your lungs to warm and humidify the air you breathe, which can put them at risk of long-term damage, according to U of A exercise physiologist Michael Kennedy.

People who enjoy exercising outside during winter need to be wary of the effects plunging temperatures can have on their lungs, according to a University of Alberta cold-weather exercise physiologist.

“If it’s a really cold day in February, a high-intensity run or ski race could change your life,” said Michael Kennedy.

He explained the problem with intense cold-weather exercise is that increasingly cold temperatures make it harder for the lungs to warm and humidify the air, which causes the lining of the airway to dry and, in some cases, become irreparably damaged.

“The inflammatory response is so large that the lungs never recover back to a healthy baseline,” he said. “They basically remodel.”

Kennedy said ski culture and Nordic culture are slowly changing, but for the most part there is still general acceptance that it’s OK to race in -15 C or -20 C.

“It’s not OK,” he said. “We have a qualitative study planned on high-level cross-country skiers who have chronic cough and severe reduced lung function post-retirement.”

Taking Antibiotics For A Common Cold

Pneumonia: disease, en, health, illness, pneumonia, social ...

If you have a bacterial infection, you likely need antibiotics to treat it. Viruses, on the other hand, don’t respond to antibiotics and if you take them when you don’t need them, you can build up a resistance. That means that the next time you have an infection and need an antibiotic, it might not work as well as it should. Bottom line: If it’s the common cold, don’t try to zap it with antibiotics. Just stick with over-the-counter cold treatment.

Read Also: Best Pneumonia Vaccine For 65 And Older

Common Winter Illnesses Explained

Learn the differences between some common winter illness, what to do if you catch one, and when it’s time to head to an urgent care doctor or emergency room for help.

Upper Respiratory Infection

An upper respiratory infection is the same as a common cold. It covers any infection that you get in your chest and head that’s caused by a virus. You might experience a fever, a sore throat and congestion and pressure in your nose, head, sinuses and/or ears.

The common cold virus is very contagious, and you can catch one if you are around someone who is sneezing, coughing or touches you with the virus on his or her hands.

There isn’t a medication that can cure a cold , but washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with others who are sick can reduce your risk from catching one.


One of the most common winter ailments is the highly contagious flu.

Common symptoms of the flu include a high fever, body aches, chills, a cough and a lack of energy. It lasts for a week or two in most people, but severe cases could land you in the hospital if you don’t rest and recover.

Because the flu can cause your airways to constrict, some people also get pneumonia. This can be one of the severe complications of the flu. If youre having trouble breathing with the flu, its critical to call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room as fast as possible.


Mechanisms Of Cold Air Effects In Athletes

The respiratory system may be particularly affected by cold air exposure as inspired air has to be conditioned before participating in peripheral lung gas exchange, with an associated loss of heat and water. During exercise, a shift from nose to combined nose-and-mouth breathing takes place when the ventilation level exceeds approximately 30 l/min . In such conditions, the possible trigger sites provoking respiratory symptoms include nasal mucosa, pharynx, larynx and the lower airways .

During physical exercises, nasal breathing quickly switches to mouth breathing, particularly at minute ventilations above 40 l/min, with the involvement of intrathoracic airways in this conditioning process .

Even in subjects without respiratory diseases, cold air can induce changes in the airways. Exposure to cold air can increase the number of granulocytes and macrophages in the lower airways . Furthermore, cold-related impairment of respiratory mucociliary function can inhibit the clearance of pollutants . Finally, in extreme cold temperatures, people tend to gather indoors and crowding can promote the transmission of infectious agents with ensuing airway inflammatory events.

You May Like: Can Pneumonia Vaccine Cause Elevated Liver Enzymes

How Can I Protect My Lungs From Cold Air

5 Tips for Protecting Your Lungs in the Cold Weather

  • Wash your hands often. …
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf when going outside in the cold. …
  • Dress warmly and keep yourself dry. …
  • Be careful about wood-burning fireplaces. …
  • If you have asthma or COPD, always keep your inhaler nearby.
  • Is It Ok To Go Outside With Pneumonia

    Why is this flu season so bad?

    Most kids with this type of pneumonia won’t feel sick enough to stay at home and so, they walk around with it and often will feel well enough to go to school. But even if kids with walking pneumonia feel fine, they still need to stay at home for a few days until antibiotic treatment kicks in or symptoms improve.

    You May Like: How To Treat Pneumonia In Cows

    Which Humidifier Is Best Recommended For Pneumonia

    As dry air can worsen the cough and pneumonia conditions, it is often recommended to add the best humidifier brand for pneumonia in the infected persons room.

    When it comes to picking between warm or cool mist humidifier for pneumonia care that you use a cool-mist humidifier and not a steam vaporizer as it can cause burns.

    Below are the top choices you can choose from

    1- LEVOIT:

    This is a great machine for people who have a large bedroom or a living space.

    The user-friendly illuminated LCD panel in the machine shows you the current humidity level inside your room which helps in digitally programing the desired level of the humidity you need.

    Using essential oils for pneumonia is many times recommended to control the infection better.

    Hence using a LEVOIT humidifier with an aroma diffuser, which makes the air therapeutically hygienic and healthy, is also a good option.

    This will ensure faster relief for sufferers by providing optimum humidity levels and healing aroma of essential oils.

    2- Vicks:

    If you want to go for a low maintenance humidifier for easing pneumonia Vicks humidifier is one of the best to check out.

    Being a perfect humidifier for small and medium-sized bedrooms, it brings you the best features that you will love to get for your family.

    3- BONECO:

    Boneco humidifiers offer nothing but a suitable way to bring comfort and moisture to your living space without worrying about all the cleaning.

    4- Honeywell:

    5- Adorable Crane:

    Pretending You Aren’t Sick

    It’s easy to want to ignore a cold after all, you have more important things to do than sit home and treat it. “The most common mistake people make is to not slow down and take care of themselves when they have a cold,” says Neelam Taneja-Uppal, MD, an infectious disease specialist in New York City. If you run yourself ragged when you’re not feeling well, even if you just have a common cold, you’ll make it worse and it will take longer for you to recover.

    Don’t Miss: How To Get Better From Pneumonia

    How Many Types Of Pneumonia

    There are four types of pneumonia

    • Viral pneumonia: It is caused by various types of viruses, including influenza. If you dont know so it around half of the pneumonia cases are attributed to this type of pneumonia. As we told you pneumonia relationship with a cold when you have a cold for a long time.
    • Bacterial pneumonia: It is one of the most severe and potentially life-threatening forms of pneumonia and it is pneumococcal pneumonia, it can be caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus pneumonia.
    • Mycoplasma pneumonia: This is caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Due to this pneumonia some different symptoms and physical signs such as white nausea, phlegm, and vomiting. Because pneumonia recovery takes longer but it can be caused by mycoplasma organisms is generally mild.
    • Other pneumonias: There are some other pneumonia but it is less common that can be caused by other infections including fungi.

    How Can I Make My Lungs Stronger With Copd

    4 Holistic Accupressure Points for Treating Pneumonia Symptoms

    What Type of Exercises Are Generally Good for People with COPD?

  • Stretching relaxes you and improves your flexibility. …
  • Aerobic exercise is good for your heart and lungs and allows you to use oxygen more efficiently. …
  • Resistance training makes all your muscles stronger, including the ones that help you breathe.
  • Don’t Miss: Can Pneumonia Lead To Congestive Heart Failure

    Air Conditioning Cold And Cigarette Smoke

    Pathophysiological aspects in which repeated exposure to cold stimuli determines anatomical and functional alterations of the respiratory tract have been also discussed in the literature . Cold air, that is temporarily inhaled, induces excessive secretions of airway mucus and elicits ciliary ultrastructural anomalies. The only exposure to cold stimuli, can defect, turn on the cold-mediated activation of the TRPM8 channel and determine mucus hypersecretion with excessive MUC5AC secretion, and obstacle mucociliary clearance through numerical and structural anomalies of the ciliary apparatus. The inhalation of cold air, however, can only activate the TRPM8 receptor, but cannot determine the baseline overexpression of this receptor in patients with COPD. Probably cigarette smoke, that is also the main risk factor for COPD, is the etiological factor for the elevated expression of the TRPM8 channel in these patients, and so they are predisposed and hypersensitive to cold stimulus, even as air conditioning . The synergistic effect between smoking and exposure to cold air was also observed in other studies, evaluating changes in impedance in the respiratory tract after exposure to cold in young smokers and nonsmokers: a broncho-constricting effect extending largely into the small peripheral airways can be demonstrated by impedance measurement in a group of asymptomatic young smokers which is not observed in normal subjects after cold-air challenge .

    Avoid Catching Colds Or Flu

    Catching a cold or another infection can trigger your symptoms to get worse or your condition to flare up.

    If you catch a cold, watch out for symptoms that get worse. Make sure you know what to do if you become breathless or start to cough up phlegm. Make sure you have numbers on hand for your out of hours GP or specialist in case you need to contact them.

    Also Check: How Frequently Should You Get A Pneumonia Shot

    Is There More Oxygen In Warm Air Or Cold Air

    Cooler air is more dense than warmer air. Warm air can actually hold more moisture because molecules are farther apart, making more room for moisture. Cold air is dense and compact it’s “thicker,” so when you breathe in you get more oxygen. … They get more oxygen and it’s easier to cool their bodies.

    Why Does Cold Weather Make My Copd Worse

    Pneumonia, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

    When the temperature drops, your body works harder to stay warm, putting additional strain on your heart and lungs: With an onset of low to extreme temperatures blood vessels begin to narrow, restricting blood flow and depriving the heart of oxygen.1 Therefore, the lungs must work harder to provide oxygen through the

    Also Check: Can Pneumonia Cause Increased Heart Rate

    Can Training In Extreme Cold Permanently Hurt Your Lungs

    By Corrine Malcolm,CTS Coach

    Youre right, youre not going to freeze your lungs however, exercising and competing in extreme environmental conditions can have a long lasting negative impact on your lung health. Every winter runners, cyclists, and triathletes flood my social media feed covered in various forms of human icicles, temperatures flash across the screen 0F -16F -36F, wind chills dropping the skin temperature lower. Every winter I cringe and have to ask, at what cost? Is there a specific purpose to be gained, aside from proving your own toughness, by slogging out the miles as temperatures dip below zero?

    Of course, you may live in a cold, wintery place. I myself grew up in Northern Wisconsin and routinely had school canceled growing up when the temperatures would dip, almost every February, to -35F. Growing up as a cross-country skier, winter and cold were an unavoidable part of my childhood. In college I studied exercise and environmental physiology and watched my teammates struggle with skiers cough, which for some turned into what we thought at the time was asthma.

    I began to wonder, what does happen to our lungs as we train and race over time? The answer is an increased risk for developing a hyper-reactive airway, or what is now called exercise induced bronchospasm , what was originally called exercised induced asthma.

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    • I have a chronic condition. Am I at higher risk for pneumonia?
    • Do I have bacterial, viral, or fungal pneumonia? Whats the best treatment?
    • Am I contagious?
    • How serious is my pneumonia? Will I need to be hospitalized?
    • What can I do at home to help relieve my symptoms?
    • What are the possible complications of pneumonia? How will I know if Im developing complications?
    • What should I do if my symptoms dont respond to treatment or get worse?
    • Do we need to schedule a follow-up exam?
    • Do I need any vaccines?

    You May Like: What To Do For Swollen Arm After Pneumonia Shot

    What Can I Do At Home To Feel Better

    In addition to taking any antibiotics and/or medicine your doctor prescribes, you should also:

    • Get lots of rest. Rest will help your body fight the infection.
    • Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids will keep you hydrated. They can help loosen the mucus in your lungs. Try water, warm tea, and clear soups.
    • Stop smoking if you smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke can make your symptoms worse. Smoking also increases your risk of developing pneumonia and other lung problems in the future. You should also avoid lit fireplaces or other areas where the air may not be clean.
    • Stay home from school or work until your symptoms go away. This usually means waiting until your fever breaks and you arent coughing up mucus. Ask your doctor when its okay for you to return to school or work.
    • Use a cool-mist humidifier or take a warm bath. This will help clear your lungs and make it easier for you to breathe.

    Should You Stay Warm When You Have Pneumonia


    Keep warm. Heating your house and wrapping up both reduce your risk of getting chest infections, Dr Whittamore advises. Keeping warm is particularly important if you’re over 65, have health conditions or aren’t very mobile: in this case, you should try to make sure your home is heated to at least 18°C.

    Also Check: Treatment For Pneumonia In Elderly

    What Can Make Copd Worse

    Temperature and weather can cause COPD symptoms to worsen. Cold, dry air or hot air can trigger a flare-up. According to a study, temperature extremes, below freezing and above 90°F , are particularly dangerous. Add in other factors, such as wind and humidity, and the risk of a COPD flare-up increases.

    Can A Humidifier Cause Pneumonia Infection

    Can a humidifier cause pneumonia, or can installing one make the infection worse?

    Having a question like this in mind is obvious! After all, you do not want to make your parents, child or spouse sicker.

    Instead, you are always concerned about lowering the suffering for them.

    Installing a humidifier in a room occupied by a pneumonia sufferer helps them a lot rather than providing any harm provided you use and clean it properly.

    The only way in which a room humidifier can cause problems for a person suffering from pneumonia is when its not maintained or cleaned regularly.

    Keeping your humidifier clean will ensure that there is no growth of white dust, mold, and bacteria in the machine.

    You can use bleach or a vinegar solution to clean the parts and filters, and that will contribute towards faster recovery from infection.

    Remember, infection and illnesses are mainly caused due to bacteria, fungi, and germs growing in your household.

    Its not your home appliances that can cause harm.

    Keeping your humidifier clean and in good running condition is however a key to good health.

    Recommended Reading: What Medicine Is Used To Treat Pneumonia

    Popular Articles
    Related news