Can breathing cold air alone; trigger an asthma attack?
I was diagnosed asthmatic by pulmonologist recently. I noticed when I breathe in cold air; I have coughing fits. Is this asthma attack kicking in? If so, how?
- JasonLv 72 months ago
Absolutely. In fact, one of the types of tests we do in the lab to determine if someone has asthma is the cold air challenge. It most closely mimics exercise-induced asthma.
EIA is a little different from "regular" asthma. Regular asthma is a function of inflammation, smooth muscle constriction in the airway, and increased mucus production. In EIA, the fast, deep breathing you do during exercise strips humidity from the upper airway faster than it can supply it, so dry gas gets down to the lungs. Lungs HATE dry gas. In most people that will cause a bit of a cough. In some people, though, their airways overreact vigorously and the smooth muscles constrict. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, so it more commonly triggers attacks in those who are susceptible. That's one of the five flavors of asthma.
.Source(s): Respiratory therapist (B.S., RRT, RPFT) Working on my masters in nursing
- PatriciaLv 73 months ago
It could be. Dry air can cause coughing and respiratory distress. talk to a doctor if you're concerned?