STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Protect Lungs from Arctic Chill

It’s cold outside – and those frigid temperatures could spell trouble for the lungs, especially for folks with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Posted: Jan 5, 2018 3:51 AM

CLEVELAND – It’s cold outside – and those frigid temperatures could spell trouble for the lungs, especially for folks with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Rachel Taliercio, DO, of Cleveland Clinic, said people with chronic lung conditions may notice it’s harder to breathe outdoors when the mercury drops.

“Cold air is dry, it can be irritating to the lungs and it can cause particularly the large airways to narrow making it harder to breathe,” said Dr. Taliercio. “So, it’s really important if you do have to go outside in the cold temperatures that you take your rescue inhaler, your quick relief medication, with you in the event that your symptoms flare.”

Cold air can even be irritating to healthy lungs, but Dr. Taliercio said people with chronic lung conditions are most at risk for having breathing problems, like coughing and wheezing, during a deep freeze.

She tells her patients that a good rule of thumb is to be wary of temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit and wind chills below zero as conditions within this range may cause airway and lung irritation.

She recommends folks with lung disease try and limit time outdoors on extremely cold days, when possible.

However, for those who do venture outdoors, covering the nose and mouth with a scarf will help.

“When you don’t have your nose and mouth covered you’re breathing in the cold air. When you do cover it, it just warms the air and so the air can be less irritating to the upper airways and to the lungs,” said Dr. Taliercio.

Dr. Taliercio adds that it’s important to call a healthcare provider if fast-acting medications and inhalers aren’t providing relief for coughing and wheezing.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 13081

Reported Deaths: 247
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah309573
Washington199421
Marion197556
Umatilla11418
Clackamas105129
Malheur4493
Union3762
Lincoln3627
Lane3243
Deschutes2881
Yamhill2179
Jackson1960
Linn18610
Polk18412
Jefferson1710
Morrow1651
Klamath1411
Wasco1212
Benton1176
Hood River1090
Douglas701
Josephine651
Columbia590
Coos580
Clatsop560
Lake240
Crook201
Tillamook200
Wallowa150
Baker130
Curry90
Sherman50
Gilliam20
Harney20
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 354885

Reported Deaths: 7375
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1432073943
Riverside27371577
Orange27031455
San Bernardino21468310
San Diego21446448
Fresno894191
Alameda8478154
Imperial8145148
San Joaquin742873
Santa Clara6951173
Kern692198
Tulare6332153
Sacramento617492
Stanislaus551761
Contra Costa514092
Ventura478756
San Francisco469650
Santa Barbara441232
San Mateo4254114
Marin394740
Kings310841
Monterey291318
Solano240731
Merced226015
Sonoma194116
Placer116711
San Luis Obispo11126
Madera105410
Yolo102330
Santa Cruz6023
Napa5614
Lassen4440
Sutter4414
Butte4374
San Benito4082
El Dorado3630
Yuba2213
Shasta2156
Glenn1901
Nevada1851
Humboldt1754
Mendocino1550
Colusa1400
Lake1331
Tehama1261
Tuolumne800
Calaveras750
Del Norte610
Mono541
Amador480
Siskiyou430
Inyo371
Mariposa341
Plumas210
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 78°
Brookings
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 82°
Crater Lake
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 76°
Grants Pass
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Klamath Falls
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 76°
Sunny & hot Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events