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What causes cold weather cough?(9 posts)

What causes cold weather cough?CRM
Nov 10, 2001 3:14 PM
Does anyone know why we get that feeling in our lungs that causes coughing after exercising in cold weather? I get it every time the temperature dips even into the 50's.

I'm very curious for a medical explanation. Thanks.
re: What causes cold weather cough?CT1
Nov 10, 2001 4:58 PM
One of the reasons is LOW humidity and the actual low temp of the air entering the lungs and passageways. These two things combine to irritate the heck out of the cilia and bronchial passages.

You think you have this bad for a biker (it can be, actually).... check out some of the high altitude climbers. They often sound like frogs because their lungs and esophogus's are just 'hammered out' by the same effect.... but MUCH more so than bikers.

Come on, dudemickey-mac
Nov 10, 2001 5:06 PM
You grew up in San Diego and live in the San Fernando Valley. What do you know about cold-weather ailments? ;-0
Ah.... my fine friend... you only know part of the story...CT1
Nov 10, 2001 5:32 PM
Born in the Big Apple and spent enough years playing in the cold to have some experience with this issue.

Actually, YOU know we occasionally get sub zero weather here in the Valley (snowed like crazy 5 years ago, too).... hahaha. Trust me, I'm NOT complaining!!

I also occasionaly get the bronchial spasm thing going after really hard intervals. Seems less often now that I'm doing lots of miles. :-)

So, are you going to get close to 10K for the year??? I really wish I had kept track of my mileage..... no concrete knowledge of my actual miles this year but I'll be close.

Hey, we had a good ride out of the college today.... where were you? hahaha.
Ah.... my fine friend... you only know part of the story...mickey-mac
Nov 11, 2001 6:40 AM
OK, OK, so you've spent some time in the cold. I won't hit 10k, more like 8500 unless today is the official start of the rainy season. Yesterday I did Big Tujunga, Angeles Forest, Angeles Crest. It was beautiful once I got up into the mountains: not a cloud in the sky. Then I descended into a big cloud bank on AC. I'm still trying to decide whether to go out today; the rain bike is out of commission for the time.
Somewhat Athsma related too...UncleMoe
Nov 10, 2001 5:56 PM
On longer rides in hi heat, or jsut short rides in cooler weather, I get that pretty bad. It doesn't happen often, but one day I thought I was going to start hyperventaliating.

I visited my Dr. and he said that feeling is excercise induced asthma. He gave me a prescription for an inhaler. I use it on days that I think might be a problem. I haven't had that feeling since.

Just thought, it might be worth asking for a prescription next time you visit your Doc for something else. Unles it is bad, it might not be worth a trip just for that.
I get the same thing interested in the answer.Chris Zeller
Nov 12, 2001 10:43 AM
I often have a coughing that lasts for an hour or more after extreme exertion, often in the cold. Comming back from long/hard climbing days (here in Colorado the air is quite dry and winter ice climbing it is also quite cold). I do often climb as high as 14,000 ft but usually don't feen any significant effects from altitude. The thing is, I only get this AFTER I get back in the car and stop excercising. I never have it during the excerscise.

My brother went to the doc and he said it could be excercise induced athesma. Is this possible?
re: What causes cold weather cough?AustinTexasRider
Nov 12, 2001 1:33 PM
Well, I cough when it's 100 deg. here in Central Texas if I exert myself a lot (e.g. Time Trial). Dryness may be part of it, but cardio/pulmonary stress (heavy breathing) and drying out the lungs probably has all to do with it. You breathe more out of your mouth and less out of your nose which moistens and warms your breath. Drier air, heavy breathing, etc etc.

I am from NE Ohio originally which does get a winter. (before the flame patrol knocks me for living in Texas.)

Some possible causesKristin
Nov 12, 2001 2:06 PM
Contributors thick saliva:
* not hydrating well enough
* dry air (takes days of dry atmosphere to thicken mucus)
* cold air inhalation (body is protecting airways and vocal chords)
* common cold / sinesitis
* rhinesitis(sp?) (nasal allergies)
* athsma

Low humidity over a period of time (more than a couple days) causes your mucus secretions to become thicker. Exercising in the cold causes your body to produce more and thicker mucus. This can give you that rattling kind of cough that's hard to clear. I often develop this kind of cough 20 minutes or so after exercise.

If you exercise a lot in the cold, you might invest in a couple good humidfiers for you home. This should help. Heck, if you're home gets dry in the winter (baseboard heat), then humidifiers are a good idea regarless.

If it bothers you regularly, you should seek a doctors opinion since it could be lots of things, including chronic allergies.