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Asthma

Moving air and cold air asthma triggers

08/31/2009

Question:

When near moving air from an oscillating fan or car/home a/c cold air, I get a sensation back of my throat as though it is closing up and I can`t breathe. It is happens all the time and now when I am sleeping I wake confused and not able to breathe. I live in CA where summer temps run 103 to 114 and I can`t avoid the a/c or fans. Would appreciate some guidance. Daily use of Qvar and Pro Air Inhalers, Singulair, Zyrtec.

Answer:

Some asthmatics are sensitive to cold air and are often advised to wear a scarf over their mouth when outside in the cold. I am not aware of a similar problem from a breeze or fan-induced air, unless of course there is something in the air that is triggering the reaction such as dust, mold, animal dander, etc. I suggest you follow-up with your asthma care provider to ensure there is not another issue causing these symptoms as well as for follow-up on your asthma control. Conditions such as vocal cord dysfunction can cause symptoms very similar to asthma and your issues with sleep may indicate a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea.

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Response by:

John G Mastronarde, MD John G Mastronarde, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University