Catching your breath - Urgent Care OKC & Edmond

Keep Your Lungs Healthy This Winter

Why Winter Makes Your Asthma Worse and What to Do About It

Very few of us enjoy cold weather, but the often-frigid winter air can wreak additional havoc on those suffering from asthma. Why is winter more difficult for asthmatics? Is there anything you can do to avoid attacks? Healthy lungs are happy lungs. Let’s see how we can make that easier this winter.

Winter air has many qualities that can trigger asthma symptoms:

  • Cold. Cold air is irritating to the airway and can cause your muscles to spasm, reducing airflow and even triggering an asthma attack.
  • Dry air. Typically, winter air holds significantly reduced humidity. This dry air can irritate the airways and cause an asthma attack.
  • Indoor triggers. Most people spend more time indoors in the winter. However, indoor triggers such as pet dander, mold, and smoke can have an increased effect in the already-dry winter air.
  • Fire and smoke. Whether inside in the fireplace or outdoors with a cozy bonfire, the dry, hot air and smoke emanating from a fire is especially irritating to the airways.

Unfortunately, asthma triggers abound in- and outdoors during the winter. Here’s what you can do to decrease your chances of winding up in an Urgent Care this winter:

  • Use a scarf. Covering your mouth while outside will help keep air warm as it travels through your airways, reducing irritation.
  • Exercise indoors. Rapid intake of cold-winter air is a near-sure way to irritate your airway. Consider indoor activities such as weight lifting, swimming, and spinning.
  • Cover your bedding. Use dust mite-proof covers on pillows and comforters to limit irritation if you are sensitive.
  • Use a humidifier. Adding moisture to the dry winter air inside your home is a good way to ease its effects on your airways.
  • Speak with a doctor. Ask your doctor about your triggers, and other ways to prevent an asthma attack. Find out if a flu shot is an option for you.

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Winter Urgent Care OKC and Edmond

Stay on Your Feet and Out of Urgent Care This Winter

Seven Things You Can Do to Avoid Slipping on the Ice

If you’ve lived in the Edmond and OKC area long enough, you know the area sees enough snow and ice each winter to make walking treacherous at times. Whether it’s black ice on sidewalks and driveways, frozen frost on your front steps, or packed snow in a parking lot, it can seem like winter is out to get you. Follow these tips to decrease your chances of slipping and winding up in Urgent Care.

  1. Take it slow. While walking, ensure each foot is stable before resting your weight on it and picking up the other.
  2. Watch out. This may seem obvious, but take a little more time on every aspect of your walk, from surveying the terrain when you exit your car, to assessing the ground in front of you while walking.
  3. Wear good shoes. Shoes with good traction such as boots and other slip-resistant footwear can cut your risks of slipping on ice and packed snow.
  4. Shuffle sideways. On inclined, icy areas where you’re at risk for even further reduced traction, move one foot sideways, keeping it flat and meeting it with the other before taking your next step. Be extra careful not to cross your feet, which makes the body even more unstable.
  5. Stay on cleared paths. Areas that are unclear, such as parking lot corners, little-used sidewalks, and driveways, may contain nasty surprises such as ice beneath new snowfall.
  6. Avoid walking with your arms full. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but walking with items in your arms hampers your ability to brace yourself against falls. Try using a backpack instead.
  7. Keep your driveway and associated sidewalks clear and notify facility managers if public and business pavement is not clear.

Slips and falls are one of the most common winter injuries, particularly for those over 55. Following these tips can help you avoid the need to visit Urgent Care Edmond, but if you’re in need of winter Urgent Care in Edmond or OKC, stop in and see us at First Med Urgent Care, no appointment necessary.