child with asthma and mom helping

Take Control of Your Asthma This Winter

When you have asthma, it can be hard to manage your symptoms during the winter months. Learning to recognize and prevent asthma triggers can help you breathe easier and keep your symptoms under control.

Asthma symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, or chest tightness are often caused by something in the air that you breathe. These are called triggers. Triggers are different for every person.

Common triggers include:

  • Smoke from cigarettes, wood burning stoves, fireplaces, e-cigarettes, or vapes. Tell others not to smoke around you or in your home. If you smoke, get help by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
  • Exercise can cause asthma symptoms for some people. Talk to your doctor about how to exercise safely. Your doctor may recommend using certain medicines before you exercise.
  • Illness such as a cold, the flu, pneumonia, or COVID-19 can worsen asthma symptoms. Stay up to date with recommended vaccines and boosters to help prevent or reduce your risk of serious problems due to illness.
  • Indoor triggers such as dust, dust mites, furry pets, cockroaches, and mold can make asthma symptoms worse. Use dust covers on pillows and mattresses to reduce dust mites. Don’t allow furry pets to sleep in your bedroom. If you have a pest or mold problem in your home, consider getting help from a company that specializes in these areas.
  • Gas stoves release harmful substances in the air that can make asthma worse. If you have a gas stove, use the back burners, open windows, and/or use an exhaust hood when cooking.
  • Outdoor triggers such as weather changes, cold air, allergies to pollen or tree molds, and air pollution can all cause asthma symptoms. Avoid outdoor physical activity when the weather is cold and dry. Check to learn about the air quality in your area before planning an outdoor activity. Ask your doctor if allergy medicine can help you.

Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for medication use. If you use an inhaler or other medication to manage your asthma, don’t skip using it when you’re feeling fine.

If you notice your asthma symptoms are getting worse, follow your asthma action plan. Talk to your doctor to see if your medicines need to be changed or if there is anything else you can do to keep your asthma under control.

Be in Control is here to support your healthy lifestyle. If you have questions about your medicines or any health concern, you can call 1-866-461-7227 and speak to a care manager.

If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services right away. 


Parkland Community Health Plan