Why do my emphysema symptoms seem worse cold weather?

Emphysema tends to get worse during the cold weather because the airway is denser, suggests David Kamrava, MD, of West Hills Hospital & Medical Center. Watch this video to learn more.
Your symptoms might seem worse during winter because of the effect cold air has on your airways. Breathing cold air can make your airways constrict. For someone who already has emphysema, this can make breathing very difficult. You can alleviate the problem by covering your mouth with a scarf or a facemask. Most pharmacies and many online stores even sell a cold-air mask for this very reason.

Continue Learning about Emphysema


Emphysema is difficulty breathing due to air trapped in the lung, resulting in reduced lung capacity. Smoking is usually the cause, as it damages the linings of the air sacs in the lungs making them close. This leads to areas of t...

rapped air in your lungs. Other causes may include coal dust and other pollutants. Your lungs enlarge to compensate, but there are limits to this. Treatment may be medical and include oxygen support, medication and respiratory therapy. Of course stopping smoking is always recommended. Surgical treatment by cutting out damaged portions of the lungs and reducing lung volume is also effective.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.