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Sniff. Cough. Sneeze.

Cold weather can be tough on all of us, but if you have asthma, winter can literally take your breath away.

For many people, asthma is harder to control during winter months, for a few reasons. First, the cold, dry air can irritate your airways and cause the muscles inside to spasm. Then there’s all those cold and flu viruses going around. A cold or respiratory tract infection can exacerbate asthma symptoms .

But there are a few things people with asthma can do to keep themselves as healthy as possible. “Simple stuff always makes the biggest difference,” says pulmonologist Emily Pennington, MD.

Here are a few steps she suggests — including some you can start now.

Get your flu vaccine. And for the best protection throughout flu season, get it before the end of October, Dr. Pennington says. She also recommends talking to your doctor about whether you need a pneumonia vaccine.

Limit outside exercise. Even people without asthma sometimes experience shortness of breath when they exercise in cold weather. If you have asthma, indoor activities like taking a fitness class or swimming may be better options.

Sport a scarf. Covering your mouth when you’re outside will help protect your airways by warming the air before you breathe it in.

Invest in a humidifier. Even indoors, the air can be dry, so a humidifier may help ease breathing. Just be sure the reservoirs and filters are clean.

Keep those hands clean. When you wash them, do so for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer when you’re out and about.

Also, keep them away from your face. That’s how we transfer cold and flu viruses, Dr. Pennington says. They get on our hands by touching, say, a door handle, and then into our bodies through our mouth or nose or eyes.

Talk to your doctor before cold and flu season. “Make sure you have your asthma action plan in place,” Dr. Pennington says. “That way, if you do get sick, you know what to do before your symptoms get really severe.”

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-things-to-do-if-your-asthma-is-worse-in-winter/

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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