Top tips to help people with asthma breathe more easily this winter

With very cold weather on the way in the next few days, the NHS in Leeds is advising people with asthma how they can breathe more easily by following some simple steps.

Around 5.4 million people in the UK have the condition, and research by Asthma UK shows that around 75% of them saw their symptoms triggered by cold air and 90% reported that having a cold or flu made their asthma worse.

Dr Katherine Hickman, GP and Clinical Lead for Respiratory for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Winter can be a difficult time of year for people with asthma. This is often due to breathing cold air, picking up colds and flu, or even breathing in fumes from a wood or coal fire, all of which can affect the respiratory system.

“Some people with asthma find their airways are more sensitive to changes in temperature so in a cold snap, their symptoms often get worse. However, it doesn’t have to be that way and it’s possible to be symptom-free – even in winter.”

The local NHS is reminding people with asthma to follow the advice below.

  • Take your preventer inhaler as prescribed – using your preventer inhaler as prescribed soothes your airways so they’re less sensitive.
  • Keep your reliever inhaler with you – always carry your reliever inhaler with you in case you need it in an emergency. If cold air triggers your asthma or if you’re about to exercise outside, take one or two puffs of your reliever inhaler before going out.
  • Check your inhaler technique – using your inhaler properly is important. A free inhaler check service is now available at 50 community pharmacies in Leeds – ask for details or talk to your doctor or asthma nurse.
  • Get a flu jab – people with asthma are at high risk of suffering the effects of flu, so if you haven’t had your flu jab yet, ask at your GP practice.
  • Wrap up – keep warm and wear a scarf over your nose and mouth to help warm up the air before you breathe it in. Breathing through your nose will also help warm up the air before it reaches your lungs.

People whose asthma is well-controlled are less likely to have problems during cold weather. By having a regular asthma review with a GP or asthma nurse and following a personal asthma action plan, people can take greater control of their condition.

The following pharmacies now offer an inhaler check service

Boots UK Ltd 5-7 Town Street Armley Leeds LS12 1UG
Boots UK Ltd 28-32 Kirkgate Otley Leeds LS21 3HJ
Boots UK Ltd Unit 2, Savins Mill Way Kirkstall Valley Retail Park Leeds LS5 3RP
Cohen’s Chemist 26 Otley Road Guiseley Leeds LS20 8AH
Cohen’s Chemist Chapeltown Health Centre Spencer Place Leeds LS7 4BB
Day Lewis Pharmacy Crossley Street Surgery Crossley Street Wetherby LS22 6RT
East Leeds Pharmacy 80 Osmondthorpe Lane Leeds LS9 9EF
Halton Pharmacy 253 Selby Road Halton Leeds LS15 7JR
Knights Chapel Allerton Pharmacy 6 Stainbeck Lane Leeds LS7 3QY
Living Care Pharmacy Unit 2, Oatlands Retail Centre Oatland Drive Leeds LS7 1ST
Living Care Pharmacy Street Lane Practice 12 Devonshire Avenue Leeds LS8 1AY
Living Care Pharmacy 3 Upper Accommodation Road Richmond Hill Leeds LS9 8RZ
Lloyds Pharmacy Within Sainsbury’s Selby Road, Colton Leeds LS15 9JA
Lloyds Pharmacy Unit 8 Arndale Centre Otley Road Leeds LS6 2UE
Morley Pharmacy 2a Corporation Street Morley Leeds LS27 9NB
Shaan Pharmacy 176 Harehills Lane Leeds LS8 5JP
Well Pharmacy Station Road Armley Leeds LS12 3EY
Well Pharmacy 42 Austhorpe Road Cross Gates Leeds LS15 8DX
Well Pharmacy 29 High Street Yeadon Leeds LS19 7SP
Well Pharmacy 25 Finkle Lane Gildersome Leeds LS27 7DX
Well Pharmacy 4 Laneside Terrace Elland Road, Churwell Leeds LS27 7PT
Well Pharmacy 84/86 Lincoln Green Road Leeds LS9 7SU
Your Local Boots Pharmacy Rawdon Surgery 11 New Road Side, Rawdon Leeds LS19 6DD
Your Local Boots Pharmacy 1 Moseley Place Leeds LS6 2RY
Your Local Boots Pharmacy 5 Hollin Park Parade Leeds LS8 3AS
Asda In Store Pharmacy Killingbeck Drive Leeds LS14 6UF
Cohen’s Chemist 190 High Street Boston Spa Leeds LS23 6BT
Cohen’s Chemist 230 York Road Leeds LS9 9BP
Day Lewis Pharmacy 100 Thornhill Street Calverley Leeds LS28 5PD
Headingley Pharmacy St Michael’s Court 1 Shire Oak Street, Headingley Leeds LS6 2DP
Ireland Wood Pharmacy Iveson Approach Tinshill Leeds LS16 6FR
Kamsons Pharmacy Lingwell Croft Surgery 20 Shelldrake Drive Leeds LS10 3NB
Lloyds Pharmacy Grange Medical Centre 999 York Road Leeds LS14 6NX
Lloyds Pharmacy 195-197 Butcher Hill Leeds LS16 5BQ
Lloyds Pharmacy North Leeds Medical Practice 355 Harrogate Road, Moortwon Leeds LS17 6PZ
Lloyds Pharmacy 39 High Street Yeadon Leeds LS19 7SP
Lloyds Pharmacy Chapeltown NHS Joint Service Centre 263 Chapeltown Road Leeds LS7 3EX
M A Manning ( Pharmacy) Ltd 97 Lidgett Lane Leeds LS8 1QR
Manor Park Pharmacy Manor Park Surgery Bellmount Close, Bramley Leeds LS13 2UP
Midway Pharmacy 23 Middleton Park Circus Leeds LS10 4LX
Midway Pharmacy 46 Chapeltown Road Pudsey Leeds LS28 8BL
Mitchell’s Chemist 88 New Road Side Horsforth Leeds LS18 4QB
Roundhay Pharmacy 211 Roundhay Road Leeds LS8 4HS
Sky Pharmacy 35 Harehills Road Leeds LS8 5HR
Swillington Pharmacy Church Lane Swillington Leeds LS26 8DY
Thorpe Pharmacy 1 Oakley Street Thorpe Wakefield WF3 3DX
Well Pharmacy The Pennyhill Centre 17-18 Church Street, Hunslet Leeds LS10 2AP
Well Pharmacy Beeston District Centre Town Street, Beeston Leeds LS11 8PN
Well Pharmacy 139 Shadwell Lane Leeds LS17 8AE
Your Local Boots Pharmacy 59 St James Street Wetherby LS22 6RS