Colder Air on the Horizon Could Mean Asthma Flare-ups. Rutgers expert provides insight on managing asthma during cold temperatures.


Expert Pitch

New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 25, 2019) – With temperatures in the tri-state area expected to dip down into the 20s next week, Rutgers scholar Reynold Panettieri is available to discuss how the cold, dry-air can trigger asthma flare-ups.

 Panettieri says asthma flare-ups can be caused by many environmental exposures, but cold air does not cause airway inflammation like dander does. “Asthma control can be worsened by cold air because it causes the lower airway to dry. Cold is sensed by nerve endings, causing the airway smooth muscle to constrict which results in coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.”

 To protect against cold air-induced symptoms, people with asthma should protect their mouths by breathing through a scarf to warm the air. They also can use inhalers or other rescue therapies such as albuterol, 15 minutes before being exposed to cold air. The rescue therapy will prevent the smooth muscle from constricting.

Panettieri is a professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and director of the Rutgers Institute for Translational Science. His research examines the fundamental processes that control airway smooth muscle contraction. 

To speak with Dr. Panettieri please call Mila Dunbar at 732-235-5207.


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