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Emphysema: Does cold weather make it worse?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/emphysema/AN00708
- With Mayo Clinic emeritus internist
Edward C. Rosenow III, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward C. Rosenow III, M.D.Edward Rosenow, M.D.
Dr. Edward Rosenow III spent his entire professional career at Mayo Clinic, retiring after 31 years. He was born in Ohio and obtained his M.D. at Ohio State University. Prior to his retirement, he was the Arthur M. and Gladys D. Gray Professor of Medicine.
He has achieved numerous awards and honors, including the Mayo Fellows Hall of Fame of Outstanding Teachers, president of the Mayo staff, president of the American College of Chest Physicians, Distinguished Mayo Clinician Award, an honor lectureship in his name given each year at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, the Mayo Foundation Distinguished Alumnus Award, and most recently the Edward C. Rosenow III, M.D., Professorship in The Art of Medicine by the Bruce Clinton family. He recently received the Mayo Plummer Society Award for Excellence in Medicine.
"It has always been my feeling that the better informed the patient is about his or her body and its functions, the better the patient-physician partnership," he says. "The informed patient is in turn more compliant with the physician's recommendations and better able to make intelligent decisions about health care needs."
He was chairman of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He is a Master Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Chest Physicians. He considers the Karis ("caring" in Greek) Award from Mayo Clinic as one of his most cherished awards, because he learned over the years that many times the gift of caring and compassion are more effective in healing than the powers of modern medicine. As a result of this award he wrote a book, "The Art of Living … The Art of Medicine," about how medicine should be practiced.
Dr. Rosenow has contributed to more than 170 publications, including over 30 book chapters, two books, two co-authored books and four amici curiae for the U.S. Supreme Court on tobacco legislation.
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Lifestyle and home remedies (2)
- Emphysema: Does cold weather make it worse?
- Air pollution and exercise: Is outdoor exercise risky?
Emphysema: Does cold weather make it worse?
Does cold weather worsen emphysema symptoms? I'm thinking about moving from Florida to Indiana.
from Edward C. Rosenow III, M.D.
It may. Breathing cold, dry air causes narrowing (constriction) of the airways in some people with chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This restricts airflow into and out of the lungs and makes breathing more difficult. But breathing cold air doesn't permanently worsen emphysema. The effects are only temporary, making you short of breath for a brief period. Cold air can also have the same effect on people with asthma.
To reduce the effects of cold air on your breathing:
- Wear a cold-air face mask when you're outside. You should put the mask on before going out. Cold-air face masks are available at many drugstores and medical supply stores. If you don't have a mask, wear a soft scarf pulled over your nose and mouth.
- Breathe in through your nose instead of your mouth when you're outside. The large, moist surface area in the nose and sinuses helps warm and humidify the air before it enters your lungs.
- Use your bronchodilator about 30 minutes before going outside. A bronchodilator helps open constricted airways.
- Use a home humidifier to moisturize indoor air when it's cold and dry outside.
Before making a permanent move from a warm climate, your doctor may suggest that you spend some time in a cold climate to see how it affects your emphysema.Next question
Air pollution and exercise: Is outdoor exercise risky?
- Levitzky MG. Mechanics of breathing. In: Levitzky MG. Pulmonary Physiology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2773400. Accessed Dec. 8, 2011.
- Koskila HO. Cold air provoked respiratory symptoms: The mechanisms and management. International Journal of Circumpolar Health. 2007;66:91.
- Living well with COPD: Chronic bronchitis and emphysema. American College of Chest Physicians. http://www.chestnet.org/accp/patient-guides/living-well-copd-chronic-bronchitis-and-emphysema. Accessed Dec. 12, 2011.
- Rosenow EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 12, 2011.