LUBBOCK, Texas — Temperatures are starting to drop in the South Plains, and as a result, people with asthma may feel a little more wheezy than usual.
Dr. James Tarbox, Allergist for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, explained to EverythingLubbock.com on Wednesday that asthma attacks are triggered when an asthmatic breathes in cold air, which causes the airway to experience inflammation.
According to Dr. Tarbox, Lubbock and its surrounding areas contribute to asthma attacks.
“Having dust in the air, and especially … during cotton harvest time, there’s just a lot of particulates in the air as well as anytime you pick up dirt, you also get bacteria and viruses and fungus … here,” Dr. Tarbox said.
The one thing Dr. Tarbox stressed tightly to asthmatics was to always have your inhaler on you. He also recommends having an inhaled steroid in tandem with the inhaler.
“[Doctors] actually want you to take is a rescue inhaler that not only has something that opened up your airway like albuterol but also an inhaled steroid. Because you want to not only open up the airway but also reduce the inflammation,” Dr. Tarbox said.
Interestingly, individuals with asthma are also prone to have skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, which are also affected by cold weather.
The National Eczema Association describes Eczema as an inflammatory skin condition that causes itchiness, dry skin, rashes, scaly patches, blisters and skin infections.
Dr. Tarbox said individuals with Eczema should have “a good skin barrier” such as a cream and ointment, not a lotion, because it can “actually dry [the skin] out over time.”
“You want to make sure you have a good topical steroid if your skin is inflamed, so you can try to get that inflammation down.”