Cold Related Airway Damage | Exercise-Induced Asthma

June 27, 2017

Scientific studies indicate that up to 50% of people chronically exposed (athletes, recreationalists, workers, etc.) to cold weather experience some respiratory symptoms, including a decline in lung function compatible with exercise-induced asthma. Most of these people have neither a prior history of asthma nor a family history of asthma. (Storms W. Review of Exercise-Induced Asthma, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2003; 35:1464-1470).

According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, asthma and allergies strike 1 out of every 4 Americans. Asthma symptoms can be caused by dry cold air inhaled into the lungs, resulting in inflamed, clogged and constricted airways. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing tightness in the chest. In severe cases, asthma can be deadly.

Risk Prevention:

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a counter measure for decreasing the occurrence of cold related airway damage, exercise induced asthma and decreased performance is to protect facial skin while increasing the warmth and humidity of inhaled air without decreasing airway resistance when breathing rates are high.

The ColdAvenger was designed by physician, in following the counter measures recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine, to combat the above damaging effects of cold air. The ColdAvenger achieves the following 6 specific design elements:

1. Thermal protection from the elements

2. Free breathing, both in and out

3. Humidifies inhaled air

4. Warms inhaled air

5. Keeps face dry through moisture management

6. Prevents goggles from fogging

The size and shape of the ventilator chamber of the ColdAvenger is the key to achieving these goals. The specific volume of air created by the ventilator dynamically mixes inhaled cold air with exhaled warm air to achieve a perfect balance of warmth and humidity. The ventilator design allows for ease of breathing while at rest or during extreme exertion. Moisture in exhaled air bonds to the polyurethane keeping it away from the face, any excess moisture buildup escapes via the designed drain ports and is kept off facial skin. Moisture management is important to prevent ice formation on the sensitive skin around the nose and lips.

Real-Time Tests:

1. Ventilation: A real-time probe measured percent O2 and CO2 inside and outside the ventilator. Percent O2 and CO2 during inhalation and exhalation were very similar to normal control without the mask, indicating more than adequate movement of air through the ventilator and no accumulation of CO2. The O2 measured during simulated exercise varied from 21-28% and the CO2 varied from 0.03-3.23%, which are both normal values.

2. Humidity: Humidity inside the chamber varied from 70-80% with an internal temperature of 66°F compared to outside humidity of 15% and temperature of 5°F.

3. Resistance: Ease of breathing was tested using a Dwyer Series 77 Digital Manometer to measure in-mask pressure during simulated light, medium, and heavy breathing. Fluctuations in pressure were ±5 inches of water, indicating minimal resistance during the heaviest of breathing.

4. Temperature: Digital thermometry during skiing, jogging, walking and standing demonstrated an in-mask air temperature range from 40°F to 60°F higher than outside air.

Check out more on the ColdAvenger line of cold weather face masks

"I have asthma…"

I have asthma and have been watching out the window when my wife or daughter snow blows the driveway because of the cold air. When it usually got below 25 degrees I would make it a point to stay in the house and in Chicago, that was most of the winter. I have been out in below zero temperature wearing the mask to the car and then removing it once I’m in the car and then putting it back on before I get out of the car to walk into the house or store. This mask has given me my life back in the winter. The only down side is now “I” go out with the mask on and snow blow the driveway even when it’s cold and my wife watches out the window from inside the house.

All joking aside, it makes a guy feel pretty bad watching out the window as his wife snow blows the driveway and now I can smile and tell her stay in the warm house and I will take care of the driveway.


Dave, Chicago


"Military Operations"

“First airborne jump in the arctic circle, sustained zero cold weather injuries. The ColdAvenger mask is ideal for these freezing temperatures to mitigate cold weather injuries due to taking off layers or fogging over goggles.”

William C Stanley, SGT USARMY

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