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People living with respiratory conditions urged to stay well over Winter

A senior North Wales nurse is urging people at risk of breathing difficulties to take care and stay well over the coming months.

Dr Angela Roberts, Lead Nurse Primary Care (Central), urged people living with respiratory conditions like COPD or asthma to follow medical advice to reduce the risk of being unwell over the winter.

Since August 2019, more than 3,500 Emergency Department attendances at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Glan Clwyd Hospital, and Wrexham Maelor Hospital, were linked to respiratory complaints.

During winter months, people with COPD, Asthma or other respiratory conditions are at greater risk of becoming unwell or aggravating the symptoms of their condition.

But by following practical advice to maintain your health and wellbeing, we can reduce the risk of becoming unwell in the first place.

Angela said: “We know that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about picking up colds or the flu, but there are steps we can all take to try and keep on top of our health and minimise that risk.

“Simple steps like washing your hands frequently, not sharing cups, towels or other well-used household items, and straightforward personal care like getting plenty of sleep can really make a difference.

“If you’re eligible, getting the flu vaccine will also give you the best available protection.

“People with preventer inhalers, which are typically brown, should also be using them daily as prescribed. By following the instructions properly, you again give yourself the best chance of protecting yourself.

“If you also find you’re using a blue reliever inhaler three or more times a week, you should try to see your doctor or asthma nurse to talk about whether you need further treatment.

“It might seem obvious, but making sure you’re wrapped up to stay warm in particularly cold weather will make a difference.

“You could wear a loose-fitting scarf to cover your mouth and nose. A scarf can stop cold air from getting into your airways, which can trigger coughing, wheezing or a tight chest.”