Freezing cold air can wreak havoc on lungs, say experts - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Freezing cold air can wreak havoc on lungs, say experts

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DULUTH, MN -

The freezing cold we've been experiencing lately doesn't just wreak havoc on roads, and water mains.

It can also damage your lungs--especially those with chronic lung disease.

American Lung Association spokespeople say cold, dry air can irritate the airways of people with asthma, COPD, and bronchitis.

They advise people protect their noses and mouths with a scarf, monitor air quality forecasts, and keep any medications close by. 

"Real dry air can be a real trigger for spasms in the lungs, or for that coughing if you have normal lungs," says ALA spokesperson Pat McKone, "if you inhale that dry cold air, it can cause bronco-spasms. And then we're concerned about those folks that have disease, triggering an episode and maybe not having their medication available."

Experts also advise those with lung problems to avoid wood burning fireplaces, as the smoke and fumes can be irritating.

The alternative, say experts: a nice, warm blanket. 

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