Respiratory Nurse Nancy Howard on Coping With the Cold

Coping with the cold and a picture of Nurse Nancy Howard folding her arms
December 2021

We also know that winter can be challenging for people with PF, so Respiratory Nurse Nancy Howard shares her advice on how to stay well.

  • Eat little and often throughout the day

Missing meals will only contribute to feelings of lethargy and tiredness. Don’t wait to feel hungry before you eat, or thirsty before you drink.

  • Getting enough exercise is a challenge, so be creative!

Use the adverts on television or a particular time on the clock to remind you to stand up and move. Don’t allow your partner or carer to prepare all the food and drinks, try to do what you can to keep active.

  • Wearing layers of clothing are best for keeping warm as they trap warm air and keep it close to your body.

Invest in hot water bottles, blankets, socks or shawls and ideally keep your house and your bedroom above 18°C consistently. Keep a thermometer at home.

  • If you are on oxygen don’t leave spare nasal cannulas in the car overnight as the plastic can split with the cold.
If you are feeling unwell with increased breathlessness, cough, high temperature, or flu-like symptoms call your GP immediately.
  • If your lips are tinged blue where they would normally be pink and breathing is harder than normal phone 111.

You know your condition better than anyone. If you feel you have deteriorated suddenly, phone 999. That’s what they are here for.

Find more advice on coping in cold weather.