What makes you breathless?

1) What makes you breathless?

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Try to identify things that can make you feel worse:

  • Hot weather
    If weather is warm you may feel good but if it is hot and humid pollution levels can also rise making you feel unwell. During hot weather your body is trying to cool down and this uses energy so you may feel more tired. Try to stay indoors and if you can limit your activity on those days. If you have to go out try to avoid the hottest part of the day between 11.00 am  and 3.00 pm. Take cool drinks regularly, use a fan and a cool damp cloth on your forehead or at the back of your neck can help.
  • Cold weather
    If weather is cold and damp your breathlessness and phlegm may get worse. Winter weather also brings more colds and infections. If family and friends have a cold ask them not to visit you until they are well. Good hand washing will also help to stop spreading infections. Remember to have you flu vaccination every year. You may need to take extra puffs of your inhalers half an hour before you go out and  try loosely wrapping a scarf around you mouth and nose to warm the air as you breathe in. Try breathing in through your nose if you can. if you are not sure what to do, check with your GP or practice nurse.
  • Windy weather can take your breath and gusts of wind are worse. Windy days can also stir up dust and pollen on dry days. Your doctor may suggest you use antihistamines.
  • Smoke from cigarettes, open fires or wood burning stoves can all make you feel breathless. If you do smoke yourself think about stopping Ask other people not to smoke in your home. If there are bonfires in your neighbours gardens, keep your doors and windows closed until the fire is put out.
  • Stress and worry can quickly get out of control. The more worried and anxious you are the more your posture, breathing and activity will suffer. There are lots of different things to try.

For more information please see:

If you live in Scotland and would like to get free text alerts on your mobile phone text WEATHER to 66777 for air quality and weather alerts.

If you have any questions about COPD you can also contact the Chest Heart & Stroke Advice Line nurses on 0800 801 0899 or text NURSE to 66777 followed by your question. For Facebook and Twitter users see the link on our Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland web page.