Protect your lungs in arctic air

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Protect your lungs in arctic air. Registered Nurse Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on January 5, 2018. (WPVI)

Doctors are warning about the effects of the cold air on your lungs, especially for people with asthma or other breathing conditions.

Cold air can be irritating to even healthy lungs, but people with chronic lung conditions are at a greater risk for having problems such as wheezing or shortness of breath.

That's because it can narrow the large airways.

You'll need to limit your time outside and be prepared just in case.

"It's really important if you do have to go outside in the cold temperatures that you take your rescue inhaler, and your quick relief medication with you in the event that your symptoms flare," said Dr. Rachel Taliercio of the Cleveland Clinic.

Also for everyone, if you're outside, wrap a scarf around your mouth and nose. It will warm the air so it's less irritating to your airways.

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