Each winter, patients are likely to experience viruses, hazards, and other risks that can impact their overall respiratory and lung health. Every patient needs to understand how to combat these risks in order to stay healthy, unless they want to end up like the millions of people that get sick or hurt during winter time.

Over 40 million individuals get the cold or flu each year as seasonal illnesses spread rapidly within local communities. In addition, a patient is likely to get hurt or injured because of environmental hazards during the colder winter season. However, taking some time to proactively curb these risks can ensure that you and your families can protect respiratory and lung health this winter.

We’ve complied expert resources from the American Lung Association, to help patients make this winter as healthy and safe as possible!

Use caution during power outages to avoid lung health risks

When the power goes out during a snowstorm, it may cause individuals to find sources of light or heat that could cause respiratory health risks. For example, using exterior gas grills, stoves, and external appliances can create harmful smoke in your household. Additionally, venting any fireplaces or other types of heat sources helps to ensure harmful smoke doesn’t get into your house. A list of¬† the types of risk and preventive methods for patients’ lung health is below:

  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns for lighting. Avoid using candles to provide light.

  • Use¬†woodstoves, gas heating stoves and fireplaces to heat your home, but only if they are vented properly to the outside. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

  • Kitchen gas ranges and ovens are neither designed to heat nor effective at heating your home. Do not use ovens or gas ranges to heat your home.

  • Outdoors is the only safe place to use generators, grills, camp stoves or any gasoline or diesel-powered engines. The fumes are deadly indoors.

Additionally, make sure you have battery-powered carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide detectors in order to avoid potential hazards of invisible gases and harmful toxins.

Address medical needs during extreme cold

As the winter gets colder, having a prepared kit or plan is crucial to help avoid seasonal illnesses throughout the year. Have any asthma medications, allergy meds, and other types of prescriptions ready in case of an emergency. Asthma patients especially should have an action plan in place since thick cold air makes it more difficult for asthma patients.

Getting proper treatment and vaccinations for cold season is also an effective means to protect your respiratory health. Make sure you get your flu shot and visit a local urgent care center to get the care you need ASAP!