What Is An Asthma Trigger
If youve been diagnosed with asthma, its important to consider triggers in your environment that may be making your symptoms worse. Triggers are different from risk factors in that they may make it more likely that someone gets asthma rather than simply worsening ones symptoms.
There are many different asthma triggers, such as animal dander, medications, and even exercise. Not every trigger affects every person. If you have asthma, you will know, or soon learn, what affects your symptoms.
As you run through this list of asthma triggers, think about your own symptoms. Have you noticed whether any of them affect you? If youre not sure, it could be a good idea to start paying a little closer attention to when and where your symptoms get worse.
You and your healthcare provider can work together to find ways to lessen the impact of these triggers on your asthma.
When Should You See A Healthcare Provider
During the summer months if you notice a decreased peak flow based on your action plan then you would need to seek out a doctors care, Dr. Poinsett says. She also recommends seeing your healthcare provider if you notice the following symptoms:
- Your symptoms do not improve after taking medications.
- You have increased coughing or wheezing.
- You need increased use of your inhaler.
- Your symptoms cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
It is important to have regular checkups with your healthcare provider regarding your asthma management and frequent communication with your healthcare provider if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.
Breathe Easier With Copd
There are many things that can trigger difficulty breathing for patients who have COPD, not just humidity in the air. While there is no cure for this condition, there are treatments available to help reduce your symptoms. At the Lung Health Institute, we offer cellular restoration treatment that helps to target and reduce inflammation in the lungs so you can Breathe Easier. To learn more, contact one of our dedicated Patient Coordinators today and ask about our free consultations.
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Growing Up Without Humidity
I grew up in California and rarely experienced humidity. Sure, the weather was warm, but it was a dry heat. I had allergies and battled my symptoms for years. The climate I lived in played a major role in my symptoms.
While in California my skin was usually dry and sometimes Id have an allergic cough. These were my allergic symptoms .
Fortunately, I traveled when I was young and had the chance to visit other parts of the U.S.;; I visited the East Coast, the South, and the Mid West on summer vacations and one thing I always noticed was the summer humidity.
It felt great on my skin and reduced the dryness I experienced in California. However, I also noticed my allergies became much worse when I was around humidity. I wondered why.
Home Humidity And Your Asthma
Home humidity problems are not only annoying and uncomfortable but can also lead to problems with your asthma control. When humidity levels in the home are high, dust mites;and molds tend to thrive. High home humidity levels can lead to asthma symptoms such as:
High home humidity levels are a trigger that indicates too much moisture. You can look around your house for a number of indicators of high humidity levels such as:
- Damp spots on ceilings or walls
- Sweating on the basement floor or walls
- Condensation on water pipes
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What Is The Best Humidity Level For Asthma
High humidity is hard to breathe for people with asthma. Humid air activates nerves in the airways that make them get narrow. This makes it hard for asthma patients that already have narrow airways to breathe.
It is stagnant enough to carry pollutants and allergens that can trigger your asthma symptoms. These allergens thrive when the humidity levels are very high, like 60% to 80%. To control the humidity levels, you can install a hygrometer or humidistat to regulate it.
However, a low humidity level can also trigger asthmatic symptoms. The best humidity level for asthma and allergies is anyone from 30% to 50%. Anything lower or higher can affect you negatively.
Asthma And Humidity Level: Can A Low Or High Humidity Triggers Asthma
The humidity levels in your home can play a big role in your breathing quality. Humidity is how much water vapour is present in the air. Humidity levels that are too high or too low can affect us in different ways.
It has been found that a healthy level of indoor humidity is about 30% to 50%. Anything higher can cause faster growth of microorganisms like dust mites and mould, which are 2 of the most common allergens. If it is too low, it can cause dry skin, dry and cracked lips and throat and sinusitis.
While very high humidity may cause nasal congestion and difficulty in breathing, especially for asthmatic patients, low humidity has its issues.
When the air is too dry, it causes the mucous membranes in the sinus to dry up. This causes the sinus to become irritated and increases your chances of catching a cold or flu.
Also, viruses are more likely to survive longer in dry air than in humid air. Very low humidity can increase feelings of congestion and make breathing harder, thereby triggering some asthma symptoms. To avoid this, during periods where the air is very dry, for example, winter, increase the humidity level in your home using a humidifier or vaporiser.
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How Houston Humidty Can Affect Your Asthma
Suffering from asthma is no joke, and everyone who experiences asthma attacks knows how weather conditions can affect it and make it worse. The weather gets lots of blame for lots of conditions, from achy joints to headaches, and in many cases its air pressure or changes in pressure that brings on the suffering.
With asthma, changes in air pressure can also lead to a feeling of stuffiness or difficulty breathing, but humidity is one of the main culprits. If you live in an area that has high humidity, its important you understand how this can trigger asthma attacks so you can do all in your power to avoid them.
Understanding Humidity And Asthma
In the simplest terms, humidity is the amount of water or moisture in the air. When the media talks about humidity levels, they’re referring to what is known as “relative humidity.”1 This is the;percentage of water in the air, compared to the maximum amount of water the air can actually hold at the current temperature. Hot air can hold more moisture than cold air. So, a relative humidity level of 70% on a hot day is going to feel a lot “wetter” than the same humidity level on a cold day.
According to the National Weather Service, humidity during hot summer months of less than 55 percent is “comfortable.” Fifty-five to 65 percent humidity begins to feel “sticky,” and anything over 65% is “oppressive.”2 You can expect that humidity becomes an irritant type trigger for many asthmatics at levels of 65% and higher.
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Pick A Comfortable Face Covering
Do not use N-95 respirators. First of all, they should be reserved for health care providers. Theyre the most effective at blocking virus particles compared with other kinds of masks, but theyre also more difficult to breathe through. The CDC currently recommends that most people opt for cloth face coverings rather than N-95 respirators or even surgical masks for venturing out in public.
Look for a mask that is made of a moisture-wicking and breathable fabric, says Dr. Elliott. If youre really struggling, you might be better off with a bandana or neck gaitor. They are more breathable since they are open at the bottom but still provide a protective barrier, she says.
Whatever you choose, make sure it covers your nose and mouth. If a patient requires portable supplemental oxygen, the mask needs to snuggly accommodate the oxygen tubing, says Dr. Schachter. In these situations, it is wise to limit outside activities to the essential minimum.
Beat The Heat: 9 Tips For Managing Your Asthma In The Summer
Theres beautiful weather, and then theres melt your ice cream, instant sunburn kind of weather. Changes in temperature like heat waves are known to trigger asthma symptoms in some people.
Knowing how to manage your asthma in these conditions will help you avoid asthma symptoms and enjoy even the hottest summer days. Here are some tips to get you through even the worst summer scorchers.
1. Plan Ahead
Dont let the heat catch you off guard. There are many ways you can get ahead of the hot weather, such as by checking the Pollen Count and your local Air Quality Health Index before venturing out and starting your day. If there is poor air quality or a high pollen count, it may be best to stick to indoor activities.
2. Be Prepared
When temperatures soar and you find yourself experiencing asthma symptoms, you want to have your reliever medication on hand. No matter the weather, keep your asthma reliever with you. You never know when asthma symptoms may strike, especially in extreme heat.
3. Be Smart
If you know youre going to be outside when its stifling out its best to be smart about it. Keep your asthma medications out of direct sunlight and out of places known to get too hot, such as the glove compartment of your car. Your medication should stay close by and cool.
4. Stay Cool
5. Stay Inside
6. Have an Action Plan
7. Be Early
8. Stay Hydrated
9. Have A Chat
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How The Best And Worst Places To Live With Asthma Are Ranked
Alens list of the best and worst places to raise a child with asthma is based upon data from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of Americas;2019 Asthma Capitals Report, which analyzed the top 100 U.S. metropolitan cities. The report utilized a weighted ranking system that considers asthma prevalence, asthma-related emergency department visits, and asthma-related deaths. Additionally, the study analyzed the following eight risk factors that can influence asthma outcomes: poverty, lack of health insurance, air quality, pollen count, long-term asthma controller use, quick-relief medicine use, smoke-free laws, and access to asthma specialists.;
Furthermore, the AAFA also communicated with patients, doctors, and legislators to get a better understanding of the impact of having asthma in these cities. Each city is ranked from 1-100 with 1 being the worst city to live with asthma and 100 being the best of the group.;Its important to note that asthma varies from person-to-person, meaning local asthma triggers could cause differences in each individuals experience by location.
How Does The Humidity Affect Asthma
Many asthmatics can feel a humid day coming on. As the humidity rises, they might start to have some coughing and shortness of breath. When the humidity begins going over 60 percent, thats when people tend to start feeling it the most. But, not only is the weather itself causing asthmatics issues, but the higher humidity is also a cause for things like smog and other air pollutants like ozone and car exhaust.
This is why you will often hear about the Air Quality Index and warnings to stay inside when the air quality is at certain unhealthier levels. In addition to the air quality though, is the fact that the higher humidity is a breeding ground for mold and dust mites which also tend to irritate the lungs. And, on top of all that, the pollen levels will tend to go up causing those with allergic asthma to have their allergies and asthma go haywire.
Dont be fooled into believing that high humidity is the only thing to look out for though. The cold/dry air can also cause your asthma to flare up. Cold air naturally acts to shrink your airways. And, this is what causes the asthma flare in the first place.
If you typically have exercise-induced asthma, you will find that the more you huff and puff to rapidly breathe in during the cold, the more likely you are to have a flare. This is because you are breathing rapidly and also end up inhaling through your mouth which makes the air more dry and colder than usual.
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Ideal Humidity Levels For Health
Humidity is the measure of moisture in the air. Too dry and it can cause the skin to dry out and the lining in the nose and throat to become dry.
Too damp and it can create a stuffy feeling and spur mold, bacteria, and dust mite growth. Its tough to find the perfect balance!
According to the Mayo Clinic, humidity levels are most comfortable between 30-50%.
Worst Places To Live With Asthma
Take a look at the infographic above to see some of the key factors behind the worst places to live with asthma rankings, or see below to get additional insight for each city.
1. Springfield, MA
Springfield, MA was ranked as the worst place to live with asthma for the second year in a row due to its high number of asthma related emergency room visits, high pollen counts, and high prevalence of asthma overall.
2. Dayton, OH
Dayton, OH holds the second spot on this list as a result of its high asthma rate, indicated by the high usage of quick-relief asthma medicine and controllers.
3. Greensboro, NC
Greensboro, NC stands as the third worst city to live with asthma due to the low number of asthma specialists and a high rate of uninsured citizens, indicating many people arent getting proper treatment.
4. Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, PA is the fourth city on this list due to a high prevalence of asthma, high number of emergency room visits, and a high number of asthma-related fatalities. The area also has high airborne particle pollution, which makes managing asthma especially difficult.;
5. Cleveland, OH
Cleveland, OH lands at the fifth spot due to its poor air quality, high rate of quick relief medicine use, and the fact that 9% of Cleveland residents have asthma.
6. Allentown, PA
7. Louisville, KY
8. Boston, MA
9. Omaha, NE
10. Milwaukee, WI
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What Are Some Resources To Help Me Track The Weather
Accuweather/AAFA personalized respiratory forecast; Visit Accuweather.com for a personalized asthma forecast for your area. Enter your location. Then from the Personalized Forecasts drop-down menu, choose Respiratory. The Accuweather/AAFA forecast will show asthma alerts along with your forecast. The page also includes;tips from AAFA on managing weather-related asthma issues.
AirNow The Environmental Protection Agencys site on air quality gives your areas Air Quality Index . Based on the AQI, you can tell if air quality could affect your asthma. An AQI of 101 or above is dangerous for those with asthma. You can also sign up to get daily email alerts.
National Allergy Bureau – Sign up to receive email alerts or download the app from the AAAAI to alert you of your area’s pollen counts.
Pollen.com Enter your zip code to get local pollen forecasts and pollen history.
What Can I Do To Make It Easier To Breathe When Its Humid Outside
When its hot and humid outside, there are some things you can do to try and lessen the effects on your asthma.Lessen other asthma irritants by avoiding things that you know will trigger your asthma. For example, perfumes, aerosols, and smoking.
Here are some tips on how to cope with both humidity and asthma during the warmer months:
- Stay on top of your preventive medicines and talk to your doctor right away if they dont seem to be effective.
- Install a dehumidifier in your home or purchase a portable one. Set it to keep your home between 30 and 50 percent.
- Stay indoors/keep on your air conditioner as much as possible. This keeps the air moving in your home and help prevents the mold from growing and dust mites from breeding.
- Avoid strenuous exercise outdoors during the hottest and most humid times.
Having asthma can make catching your breath a bit tougher in the summertime, but if you are armed with a little knowledge and some common sense, you can muddle through just fine.
Are there any tips we missed? Be sure to share them with us if so.
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What Is The Connection Between Humidity And Asthma
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Weather, any time of the year, is not a friend to people with asthma. But hot, humid days can be some of the most challenging weather conditions we have to contend with.
Have you noticed that your breathing gets worse on days when the humidity rises over 50%? If so, you’re not alone.
I know that during the 30 years I lived in southern New Jersey, my asthma was definitely a lot worse than it’s been in the 3 years I’ve lived in southwestern Colorado. New Jersey, right on the Atlantic coast, has much higher humidity levels than the high desert and mountains of my current home. I especially felt the effects of heat and humidity during the summer allergy season.
Humidity And Cold Air
Humidity and cold air can be a problem when they occur together. Because both humidity and cold air improve the symptoms of croup, many parents have also thought the practices may also be good for asthma. However, both of these can be asthma triggers.
Humid air is more likely to harbor triggers such as fungus, molds, and dust mites that might worsen your asthma symptoms. When you inhale cold, dry air, it irritates and drys out the mucous membranes that line your lungs and respiratory system. This decreases the effectiveness of your body’s natural defense mechanisms against viruses and bacteria. As a result, you may have an increased risk of a respiratory infection that can worsen your asthma. Similarly, this can worsen allergy symptoms that are another common trigger for asthma .