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Flathead doctor: People need to protect their lungs from the cold

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Posted at 4:56 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 16:33:35-05

KALISPELL — A doctor in the Flathead is warning people to be careful of the cold air as the temperatures drop.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center Pulmonologist Kevin Keeton says that people need to pay extra close attention to their lungs when weather gets colder.

He explained that Montana's cold and dry air makes it difficult for people with and without lung sensitivities to breath. Keeton also says it's not uncommon for people with healthy lungs to experience burning or tightening across their chests during the cold winter months.

Keeton explained that the sensation comes from the lungs trying to ward off foreign bodies and unhealthy air from getting into the lungs. He suggests something easy to prevent this from happening in colder weather.

"The easiest thing to do is to put a scarf or something, a barrier over your mouth because if you're breathing out hot and humid air, the next breath you breath in will be warmed up air that came out previously," explained Keeton.

Keeton also wants to remind people with asthma to take their medication before physical activity out in the cold. If you experience any of the symptoms discussed above, go the nearest hospital where a medical professional can assess you.