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Can Weather Change Cause Asthma

Food And Food Additives Trigger Asthma

How is climate change affecting allergies and asthma?

Food allergies can cause mild to severe life-threatening reactions. They rarely cause asthma without other symptoms. If you have food allergies, asthma can be part of a severe, life-threatening reaction called . The most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are:

  • Eggs
  • Salads
  • Fresh fruits

Food preservatives can trigger isolated asthma, especially sulfite additives, like sodium bisulfite, bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite, which are commonly used in food processing or preparation.

What About Winter Sports

Participating in winter sports can also be very challenging with asthma. When someone exercises they tend to breathe more deeply through their mouth instead of their nose. When your child breathes through their nose, the air gets warmed and moistened by their airways before reaching the lungs. Instead, when they breathe through their mouth, the air remains cold and dry, which can act as an asthma trigger.

Why Does Cold Weather Act As An Asthma Trigger For Some People

The airways of people with asthma can become inflamed and make it more difficult to breathe.

This is especially noticeable when exercising in the cold.

Researchers believe this is due to the dual impact of the cold and dry air on the airways, plus the bodys increased need for oxygen during sport.

They point to people breathing in more through their mouth when exercising, instead of through their noses.

This is important because breathing through the nose can warm, filter and humidify the air before it gets to the airways in the lungs.

But when people breathe through their mouths, it goes straight to the lungs and is unfiltered, colder and drier.

Asthma Australia Senior Educator Gemma Crawley says breathing in cold, dry and potentially unfiltered air can dry out the airway, increasing irritation and sensitivity.

This can lead to tightening of the muscle around the airway, and this generates asthma symptoms, she says.

There are also often more viruses around in winter. This year, of course, we are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the normal flu season, both of which impact the respiratory system, causing severe outcomes for some people.

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Whats Happening In Your Childs Body

When your childs airways come into contact with cold air, their body releases a chemical called Histamine. This is the same chemical released during anallergic reaction.

During an allergic reaction, it can cause swelling, itchiness, and trouble breathing. Histamine can cause the lungs to swell making the airways tighter. When their airways are tight it makes it harder to take a good breath, which can result in an asthma attack.

After An Asthma Attack

How Climate Change Affects Asthma

You should see a GP or asthma nurse within 48 hours of leaving hospital, or ideally on the same day if you did not need hospital treatment.

About 1 in 6 people treated in hospital for an asthma attack need hospital care again within 2 weeks, so its important to discuss how you can reduce your risk of future attacks.

Talk to a doctor or nurse about any changes that may need to be made to manage your condition safely.

For example, the dose of your treatment may need to be adjusted or you may need to be shown how to use your inhaler correctly.

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Is Cold Air Good For Asthma

Cold air is bad for most people with asthma as it tends to irritate the bronchial tubes and trigger asthma symptoms.

If you have asthma, it may be best for you to stay indoors as much as possible during cold winter weather. Be sure to monitor indoor air quality and install HEPA filters in your ventilation systems. Watch for signs of mold and remove it as quickly as possible. Install dust mite-proof pillows and mattress covers in your bedding. Consider buying an air purifier or air cleaner to help remove pet dander and other allergens from your indoor air.

Modern homes have better windows and insulation. They are less drafty and conserve heat better. But that means bedding, furniture, carpets and curtains can hold on to moisture, encouraging dust mites to breed. Keep your home below 50% humidity and use dehumidifiers to help keep dust mites from breeding. When the weather allows, open your windows for one hour per day to reduce humidity in the house.

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Dealing With The Cold

Similarly to dealing with the heat, it’s important to limit your time outdoors when it is very cold outside. If you have to be out, wearing a scarf over your mouth and nose can help warm the air as it enters your mouth and nose. Similarly to when it is hot, it can be very dry when it is cold outside. It is equally important to stay hydrated. Dress in layers to help keep your body temperature regulated.

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Enlist The Help Of A Professional

Don’t feel like you have to endure worsening symptoms during the hot and humid weather. If you’re having breathing difficulty and finding that it’s interfering with your normal activity, it’s important that you seek medical help.

Make sure all your medication is available and up-to-date. At this time of year, its easy to get caught off guard with expired medication or worse, no immediate access to the right medications.

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You Can Avoid Triggering Asthma Attacks Or Exacerbating Some Symptoms During Hot Days By Following These Tips:

How does asthma work? – Christopher E. Gaw
  • Always carry asthma medications and inhalers with you wherever you go, especially inhalers intended for use when needed, such as those containing albuterol or salbutamol.
  • Avoid leaving asthma medications in hot and enclosed places such as the car, and be sure to adhere to the storage rules listed on the package to ensure the validity and effectiveness of the medication.
  • Take anti-allergic medications in case you have a pollen allergy, after asking your doctor or pharmacist about the appropriate medication.
  • Avoid going out and doing strenuous activities during the hours when the heat and sunshine is intense, which usually includes the afternoon to afternoon period.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Stop smoking immediately to avoid worsening asthma symptoms. You can ask your pharmacist about the best ways to quit smoking, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, and medicines.
  • Ask someone in the house to wipe the dust for you, or wear a mask if you have to.

Asthma and cold weather

Cold and wet weather is one of the catalysts for asthma attacks in the winter, as asthma symptoms may increase in severity during the fall and winter, including coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. This may be due to constriction and narrowing of the respiratory tract caused by the ingress of cold air, and mold spores are also spread in this weather.

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Can Cold Weather Trigger Asthma

For some people with asthma, the cold and dry autumn and winter air can induce asthma symptoms and trigger asthma flare-ups.

We know children and adults are more likely overall to be hospitalised for their asthma as the temperatures drop, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Researchers believe this is due to a range of factors including the cold and the level of moisture in the air. The cold weather is also accompanied by the other potential triggers during winter, such as cold and flu, viruses, dust and fires.

When To Seek Emergency Medical Care

Anyone experiencing any of the following emergency warning signs of flu sickness, including people with asthma, should seek medical attention right away.

People experiencing these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.

In children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
  • Ribs pulling in with each breath
  • Chest pain
  • Not alert or interacting when awake
  • Seizures
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

These lists are not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.

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How To Avoid A Cold

Triggers, such as pollen, dust mites, and cold weather, are conditions that cause asthma symptoms to worsen or flare up. Allergy-induced asthma is triggered by airborne substances, such as pollen, mold spores, or particles of skin and dried saliva shed by pets .

If you or someone you know has asthma, it is important to be aware of these causes so you can limit your exposure to them as much as possible. As winter approaches and temperatures begin to fall, the dry, cold air can trigger an asthma attack.

So, what are the causes of cold-induced asthma attacks, and how can you avoid them? Here are three reasons the winter months affect asthma attacks and how you can prepare for them this year:

Colder air

Cold and/or dry air can narrow your airway, which is referred to as bronchoconstriction, or the constriction of the airways in the lungs. This results in coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Excess mucus

Your airway is lined with a layer of protective mucus to remove unhealthy particles. In cold temperatures, your body produces more mucus. The mucus in colder weather is thicker and stickier than normal. Allergic reactions can increase mucus production, which can make you susceptible to respiratory infections and increases your risk for catching a cold.

Exposure to germs

How to prepare for this year

Why Is Cold Weather Hard On People With Asthma

Can Climate Change Cause Asthma?
  • Wild weather: Winter often brings rain, wind and fluctuations in air pressure, even for those in mild climates. Rainy and windy weather can stir up mold spores and barometric pressure changes can trigger sinusitis. These can also cause asthma flare-ups.
  • Illnesses: Colds, flu and viruses are common in winter and can lead to more inflammation of your airways. Such illnesses thicken the mucus in bronchial tubes and make it harder to breathe. This can worsen symptoms or cause asthma flare-ups.
  • Time spent indoors: When the weather is cold, you may stay inside longer with the windows closed and the heat on. And you may be exposed to more indoor allergens, irritants and respiratory viruses. For example, you could be at risk for an asthma flare if your symptoms are triggered by dust, mold or pet dander, or cigarette smoke if theres a smoker in the house.

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Allergies: Is It Pollen Or The Weather

The image of someone sneezing uncontrollably during springtime, when lots of pollen is floating around in the air, is a familiar one. And for people who have allergies to pollen, an uptick in symptoms during the spring including sneezing, stuffiness, and even difficulty breathing is a very real problem that can pose serious risks. Several studies show a surge in emergency room visits for children and adults during seasons when pollen counts rise. For those folks allergic to pollen from flowers, trees, and grasses, antihistamines often quell the symptoms that would otherwise make spring a miserable season.

But plenty of people attribute their allergy-like symptoms to pollen when the weather not allergens per se may be to blame. Unlike allergic rhinitis, non-allergic rhinitis can be brought on by sudden changes in temperature and humidity. People with nonallergic rhinitis would test negative for any specific allergies.

The reason for the confusion between allergic and nonallergic rhinitis is simple. They both tend to occur at the same time of year and produce similar symptoms: swollen nasal passages, sneezing, and congestion.

Though the symptoms may be the same, the treatment is not.

People with nonallergic rhinitis are not going to respond to antihistamines, says Jonathan Bernstein, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Cincinnati. People buy this stuff and dont understand why its not working.

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What Allergens Are In The Air Today

Checking the pollen count is only the beginning. Mold spores are also a problem for many people with allergies and asthma. With vigilance and elbow grease, people with mold allergies can keep indoor mold and mildew at bay.

Its a different story outdoors. Mold spores and seeds fly through the air from late spring through fall and grow on decaying leaves, compost piles and grasses. It peaks during the summer with hot, humid weather.

Mold never really goes away. Snow can cover mold but rarely kill it. Windy, rainy weather during any season sends spores airborne.

Checking pollen and mold counts using a website or local allergy forecast app can help you plan your daily activities and manage your symptoms.

Visit the National Allergy Bureau at for pollen count information. for Environmental Protection Agency air quality alerts. Both websites also have apps available for smartphones and tablets.

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What Is Asthma Exacerbation

Asthma attacks or asthma exacerbations can be acute or subacute episodes during which your airways become swollen. When this happens, the muscles around your airways contract excessively, and the cells inside your airways produce disproportionate amounts of mucus. These changes cause your airways to become narrow, making it difficult for you to breathe properly.

The severity of asthma attacks is highly variable, and treatment will depend on how bad your symptoms are and how often you experience them. Minor asthma attacks may often be managed at home, whereas severe asthma exacerbations require urgent medical assistance and can even be life-threatening.

Asthma commonly affects children, but adults can also develop the condition, especially when theyre exposed to specific allergens. Women can be more susceptible to adult-onset asthma during certain stages of life, such as pregnancy, , or menopause.

The symptoms of an asthma attack include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing when you exhale
  • Low readings in a peak flow meter

The symptoms caused by an asthma attack can vary greatly from one patient to the next. Different factors, from the medications youre taking to seasonal allergies, can even cause varying symptoms for the same patient.

The exact causes of an asthma attack cant always be determined, but certain factors can increase your risk of having an asthma exacerbation, such as:

Since 2001 The Amount Of Asthma Cases In The United States Has Skyrocketed What Causes Asthma And Is Climate Change Making It Worse

Causes and Effects of Climate Change | National Geographic

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Since President Obama made a comment to the press that his daughter’s asthma might be related to climate change, asthma has been back in the news in a big way. But what exactly is asthma and can it really be caused by climate change?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease where a variety of triggers cause the airways to become inflamed and/or fill up with mucous, the muscles around the lungs tighten up, and breathing becomes difficult. It can be the manifestation of an allergic reaction–common allergens like pollen or dust can cause an attack–or attacks can happen on their own. There is a range in the severity of an attack: mild ones can go away on their own or be treated with a bronchodilator. More serious attacks can require hospitalization. Like allergies, there is no cure, but most cases are managed with a combination of medicine and avoidance of irritants like smoke and pollen.

It is a more serious disease than many people realize: According to the CDC, asthma is responsible for thousands of deaths each year. The CDC also reported a 28 percent increase in the number of people diagnosed in recent years–that’s 4.3 million new cases in the U.S. alone. Researchers can connect this increase to climate change in a number of ways.

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What Causes Asthma Symptoms To Flare Up

Your asthma can flare up for different reasons. If youre allergic to dust mites, pollens or molds, they can make your asthma symptoms get worse. Cold air, exercise, fumes from chemicals or perfume, tobacco or wood smoke, and weather changes can also make asthma symptoms worse. So can common colds and sinus infections. Gastroesophageal reflux can also cause flare-ups. You can help yourself by paying attention to the way these things affect your asthma. Your doctor might test you to find out if youre allergic to something. Then your doctor can help you avoid the things that bother your asthma.

How Do Weather Changes Affect Asthma

Weather of Arabia – Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that results from inflammation of the airways in the lungs, which leads to narrowing of the airways and their secretion of mucus, and thus difficulty breathing for the patient. Many asthma patients are affected by changing seasons and weather conditions. Asthma attacks and symptoms may intensify as a result of several weather factors, including:

  • High or low temperatures.
  • High level of humidity in the air.
  • sudden weather fluctuations
  • Rain and thunderstorms.

The impact of these weather factors on asthma is more evident when weather disturbances are at their most extreme, such as cold winters and very hot summer days.

Asthma and hot weather

Some patients with asthma notice that certain symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath increase during hot weather, and it is believed that the exacerbation of asthma symptoms in the summer is due to the narrowing of the airway as a result of inhaling hot air. Also, some allergens in patients, such as mold and pollen, may become more prevalent during the summer, which leads to stimulating asthma attacks.

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How Weather Affects Asthma

Certain weather conditions, from extreme heat to extreme cold, from rain to thunderstorms, can prompt an asthma attack. Find out how to manage a weather-related asthma trigger so your asthma symptoms don’t kick in.

While environmental allergens and pollutants such as animal dander, smoke, and pollen can prompt an asthma attack, a change in weather conditions from cold air to humidity and even thunderstorms can do the same.

In people with asthma, the airways become hyper-reactive to allergens such as pollen and irritants such as perfumes, says Stanley Fineman, MD, MBA, an allergist with the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic.

Humidity, temperature changes, and other weather conditions can also can also irritate the airways, according to Dr. Fineman. Temperature changes in the airways can cause inflammation in the airways as well, says Dr. Fineman. For most people, this is not a problem. The nose controls humidity without difficulty. But for people with allergies and asthma, who may breathe air through the mouth more often, irritants, pollutants, and pollen are more of a factor.” Because people with asthma already have inflamed airways, the more severe the asthma, the more likely the weather is to affect them.


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