ODESSA, TX (KWES) - West Texas weather changes like no other, but keeping up with it is key to preventing asthma problems. Because when cold weather hits, doctors say to plan ahead.
The winter time is when doctors see many patients come in with asthma problems because cold air causes airways to tighten up.
"When the airway tightens up, it gets smaller, that produces the wheezing sound in the asthma attack," said Dr. David Davison with Medical Center Hospital Family Practice.
Asthma attacks happen when the lining of the airways become inflamed or swollen and creates thicker mucus. At that point, there's severe wheezing coughing, rapid breathing or tightening of muscles in the neck or chest.
"As a family doctor, we see people who have an asthma attack once and then may not have it again. then we see people who have one attack and it gradually develops a problem with it," said Davison.
Doctors suggest to start off by knowing when to dress warmly. It helps a little though because you're still breathing in the cold air. So keep track of your asthma symptoms because it's important to know whether something else could be triggering an asthma attack. Always have your inhaler and medicine for Nebulizer treatments ready.
Asthma affects all ages, but mostly younger people. If you're a parent, make sure you identify if your child has difficulty breathing. Kids with persistent asthma could end up with chronic lung disease when they grow up. Identifying children who are at risk for asthma as early as possible will help them down the road.