Majid Kapra

Keep yourself warm, and if possible avoid coming out in cold is doctor’s advice to COPD patients

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SRINAGAR: As Kashmir is about to welcome Chilai-Kalan, the 40-day harshest winter period, health experts cautioned people, especially those suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease  (COPD) like ‘Asthma’, to consult their doctors and follow prevention and precaution protocols religiously.

They also said that low temperatures might narrow blood arteries, raise blood pressure, and put stress on the heart as wintertime is a time when people are often less active, leading to high cholesterol and weight gain.

“Constriction keeps your body temperature at a healthy level, and makes your heart work harder. It can be accelerated by wind and inappropriate clothing. The elderly people with COPD or chronic bronchitis should refrain from stepping outside in the cold since the cold air they inhale might worsen their conditions,” leading pulmonologist and HoD Chest Diseases Hospital Srinagar, Dr Naveed Nazir Shah told ‘Kashmir Images’.

“If it’s urgent for them to go outside, they should wear warm clothes to protect themselves from respiratory tract infections. People with COPD, chronic bronchitis, or asthma should wear extra clothing because the cold air they inhale may worsen their conditions,” Dr Shah added.

The immune system in the respiratory tract, he said, is weakened by low air humidity, which exacerbates existing medical disorders.

“In order to optimize treatment and keep the respiratory diseases under control, I advise these patients to see their physician prior to the arrival of winter. When one family member becomes infected, the whole family is affected. Therefore, it’s good to isolate the person for at least five days after he/she exhibits symptoms,” he said.

The doctor said this way other family members are shielded from catching infections, and that the infectious potential of an isolated individual also diminishes.

“One who is suffering from COPD needs not to go out in the cold without adequate clothing. Isolation is best to protect oneself from FLU and viral infection. Drink plenty of lukewarm water for neutralizing the effect of humidity,” Dr Shah said.

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