As winter’s chill settles in, the change in weather brings new challenges for respiratory health. Dr. Tara Leigh Taylor, an esteemed pulmonologist at Cody Regional Health, is on a mission to …
As winter’s chill settles in, the change in weather brings new challenges for respiratory health. Dr. Tara Leigh Taylor, an esteemed pulmonologist at Cody Regional Health, is on a mission to ensure our community understands how to protect their lung health during the colder months.
Cold Air and Lung Health
Cold air can pose unique challenges for individuals with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dr. Taylor explains, “Cold air can cause the airways to constrict and become irritated, making it harder to breathe.” To combat this, she recommends wearing a scarf or mask to warm and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs. Staying active with indoor exercises or warm-up routines before outdoor activities can also help.
Flu and Respiratory Infections
Winter is notorious for an increase in respiratory infections, including the flu. Dr. Taylor emphasizes the importance of vaccination and practicing good hand hygiene to reduce the risk. “Early intervention is key,” she says. If you experience respiratory symptoms like coughing, fever, or shortness of breath, seek medical attention promptly to prevent complications.
Indoor Air Quality
With more time spent indoors during winter, indoor air quality becomes crucial. Dr. Taylor stresses, “Good ventilation is essential to remove indoor pollutants.” She recommends using air purifiers and regularly changing filters to reduce allergens and irritants. Additionally, keeping indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50% can help maintain healthy air quality.
Winter Sports Safety
For winter sports enthusiasts, Dr. Taylor offers essential safety tips. “Cold air can strain the lungs during intense physical activity,” she warns. It’s essential to dress in layers and protect your airways with scarves or masks. If you have a respiratory condition, consult with your health care provider before engaging in winter sports.
Pulmonary Conditions and Winter
Managing pulmonary conditions like asthma, COPD, and sleep apnea in winter requires proactive measures. Dr. Taylor advises patients to maintain regular medication routines, keep rescue inhalers close by, and have a written asthma action plan. For those with sleep apnea, using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices consistently is vital for quality sleep.
Dr. Taylor, who served in the U.S. Air Force as a physician, believes in lifelong learning. Her experiences, both as a medical professional and a patient, have shaped her approach to compassionate care. “Listening is key to solving the unique medical puzzles each patient presents,” she says.
As a dedicated pulmonologist, Dr. Taylor understands the importance of community. Having lived in Wyoming, she shares a deep connection with the region and its people. “I value the sense of community here,” she notes, expressing her eagerness to get to know her patients personally.
Dr. Taylor’s patient-centered approach prioritizes care based on urgency and need. Whether managing chronic respiratory conditions or addressing complex lung-related issues, she and the Pulmonology Department at Cody Regional Health are here to support patients every step of the way.
Join Dr. Tara Leigh Taylor and her team in their mission to help our community breathe better, live healthier lives, and enjoy a higher quality of life during the winter season.
For more information please call Cody Regional Health Pulmonology at 307.578.2960.
(Ashley Trudo is the marketing director at Cody Regional Health. Dr. Tara Leigh Taylor is a pulmonologist at Cody Regional Health who specializes in respiratory health for adults and has an expertise in asthma, COPD and industrial exposures.)