NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. People with COPD may see an increase in their symptoms during the colder weather. Here are some steps you can take to help manage your breathing this winter:

  • Check the weather before going out and older people are advised to stay indoors as much as possible to keep warm.
  • Make sure you carry your medication with you at all times as cold air can tighten the airways in lung disease patients making it harder to breathe.
  • If you have a bronchodilator, use it half an hour before going outside.
  • Try to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth as this will help warm the air.
  • Protect your lungs by wearing a hood or scarf that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Keep warm by wearing layers of clothing when it's cold.
  • Wear warm nightclothes during very cold weather.
  • The recommended temperature in the living room is 21°C (70°F) and 18°C (64°F) in the bedroom.
  • Keep your home well ventilated - air quality inside the home becomes more important in winter as most of us spend more time indoors.
  • Try to stay as active as possible to generate heat - get up, move around and try to do some exercise.

It is wise for patients with chronic lung conditions such as COPD or severe asthma to have the seasonal flu and pneumonia injections. 

For more information and advice, visit NHS Choices COPD, or ring NHS 111.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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S9 4EU