Cold brings frigid temperatures, poses health risks for some

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- The current cold snap could pose several risks to your health if you do not take the right precautions before heading outdoors.  Doctors warn it is not just frostbite or hypothermia that you need to worry about.

In fact, Dr. Mark Schecker with Coastal Carolina Asthma and Allergy Associates said this year also sees a spike in the number of patients dealing with allergy symptoms.

"People tend to spend more time indoors this time of year so if they are allergic to indoor allergens they'll have more exposure to dust mites and animal allergens so their allergies might get a little bit worse," added Schecker.

The people who may be the most affected by this cold snap are patients who have asthma, said Schecker.

"That's a definite trigger for people who have asthma and people who have asthma know that so if that's your problem then you're going to have a rough time this year as the temperatures keep fluctuating," said Schecker.

If you do not have asthma but suffer from asthma-like symptoms, you may be dealing with something known as exercise bronchospasms.  This occurs when you breathe in dry winter air which my constrict your air passages to your lungs.

Schecker said there is one easy step you can take to combat the problem: covering your mouth with a piece of clothing.

"People find that if they can somehow warm the air up before they breathe it then they'll be better but staying indoors may be the best thing if you're really sensitive to that."

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