How Can We Avoid Weather Triggers
Once you know what kind of weather triggers asthma symptoms, try these tips to protect your child:
- Watch the forecast for pollen and mold counts plus other conditions that might affect your childs asthma.
- Limit your childs outdoor activities on peak trigger days.
- Make sure your child wears a scarf over the mouth and nose when outside in very cold weather.
- Keep windows closed at night to keep pollen and molds out. If its hot, use air conditioning, which cleans, cools, and dries the air.
- Keep your child indoors early in the morning when pollen is at its highest.
- Your child shouldnt mow the lawn or rake leaves, and should be kept away from freshly cut grass and leaf piles.
- Dry clothes in the dryer .
- Make sure your child always has quick-relief medicine on hand.
Your childs written asthma action plan should list weather triggers and ways to manage them, including any seasonal changes in medicine.
Why Does Summertime Trigger Asthma Attacks
Several factors combine to make summer a prime time for asthma flare-ups. Heres what could be making you cough and feel short of breath:
Hot air: Sitting in a comfortable room between 70 and 78 degrees is unlikely to trigger asthma without an allergen present. However, breathing hot air can make your symptoms flare up because heat affects the physiology of your airways.
Humidity: Humid air alone can trigger asthma. Add heat to the mix, and you have a fertile breeding ground for dust mites and mold. These allergens can thrive indoors during the summer, meaning you may not be safe from asthma attacks, even if you stay inside.
Pollen: In late spring and early summer, grass pollen takes to the air. Then, while July sees little pollen activity, ragweed season begins in August. These allergens can trigger asthma symptoms in sensitive individuals.
Ground-level ozone: Ozone contributes to smog, the hazy sky you sometimes see hanging over metropolitan areas. This known lung irritant is more common in the summer when high temperatures and sunlight spur the chemical reaction needed to create it. Ozone can reduce lung function and make it more difficult to breathe deeply, especially if you have asthma.
Wildfire smoke: Hot, dry conditions can lead to forest fires. Smoke plumes from these blazes can travel hundreds of miles, lowering the air quality wherever they go. Your asthma symptoms could worsen if youre forced to breathe smoky air.
How Does Exercising Trigger Asthma
When exercising we breathe in and out rapidly. It gets to the point our turbinates cannot keep up. Making this worse is when we revert to breathing. Many of us breathe through our mouths when exercising. This is because our mouths offer less resistance to inhaled air. Mouth breathing makes breathing easier.
Of course, when youre doing this your nose is bypassed. Cold and dry air cannot be properly warmed and humidified. Airway cells have to work overtime to warm and humidify this inhaled air. Such rapid changes inside cells cause them to release mediators of inflammation, such as histamine and leukotrienes. These mediators cause airway inflammation.
Of course, asthmatic airways are already somewhat inflamed. So, sensory neurons in airway tissue are already sensitized they are already hypersensitive. They respond by causing smooth muscles wrapped around airways to spasm and constrict. This causes airways to become abnormally narrow.4-6
When this happens, its diagnosed as Exercise Induced Asthma . This is something that affects over 80% of asthmatics. 5-7
Exercise can trigger asthma at any time. But, as the air gets colder, this risk increases. There is no set temperature listed in literature where your risk for EIA starts to increase. Based on my own experience with this, I tend to go with 50°F. If its warmer than 50°F I exercise outside if I want. If its less than 50°F I exercise indoors. I work out at home or at the health club.
Don’t Miss: Joining The Army With Asthma
How To Protect Your Lungs On Hot And Humid Days
Heat and humidity can affect your breathing, especially if you have asthma or COPD.
On very hot, humid days, especially days that have high levels of air pollution or smog, stay indoors. Find an indoor place thats cool. Make sure the place you choose has clean air this means no tobacco smoke or harsh scents. If your home is not air conditioned, go to an air-conditioned public space, like a recreation centre, public library, or shopping mall.
Some things to remember when it is hot and humid:
Cpap And Humidity Your Questions Answered
I started CPAP therapy and now I have a cold, what happened?
I got water in my tubing, what do I do?
My CPAP is making funny gurgling noises, please help!
All of these questions are related to the same subject, humidity.
But what is humidity and how does it affect the CPAP user?When we are breathing normally, our nose and throat help to humidify the air coming into our body. When we add the increased air flow from the CPAP, the body cant keep up and this can cause either dryness or congestion.
When they get congested , may people feel that it is because there is too much moisture from the machine, however it is actually the opposite. Your body is producing more moisture in the nose in response to drier air. If you are experiencing any nasal congestion or dryness, you want to turn up your humidity level. If you require assistance with how to change your machines humidity levels, contact us by phone or send us an
Humidity levels will often need to be changed with the different seasons, or if a person is travelling to another climate. A good rule of thumb is if you are congested or dry, increase humidity , and if you have any condensation or water in your tube or mask, go down on your humidity level .
You May Like: Can You Join The Reserves With Asthma
Also Check: Humidifier Help Asthma
Consider Moving Your Workout Indoors
If you normally exercise outdoors, consider switching your routine. And if you cant resist that jog around the park, head out during the warmest part of the day.
Whats more, If you have exercise-induced asthma, your doctor may prescribe an inhaled bronchodilator that contains , that you will use about 30 minutes before exercising outside, Dr. Berger says. Those symptoms can be even worse when you work out in cold air.
Humid Air Feels Harder To Breathe In
Hot, humid air may feel heavier and denser and thus harder to breathe in. Besides, humidity may activate sensory nerve fibers in the airways. These C-fibers may narrow the airways and stimulate coughing, which makes it difficult to breathe. Besides, when heat and humidity make the air harder to breathe, the body temperature can go up. This causes sweat, which can lead to dehydration. This can lead to make you breathe faster. These factors may trigger asthma symptoms.
On the other hand, when the air is very dry -a relative humidity is less than 15%- it may also lead to coughing when youâre asthmatic. When the air is very dry, the mucous membranes of the respiratory system may dry out. These membranes line your lungs and respiratory system. This leads to an increased risk for infections from viruses: due to the decreasing natural defense from influenza or the common cold virus. Dry mucous membranes may aggravate allergy symptoms and worsen asthma symptoms .
Read Also: What Happens If You Smoke Weed With Asthma
Effects Of Feels Like Temperature On The Body And Lungs
The feels like temperature has an effect on the core body temperature as well as the lungs.
For example, at the optimal outside temperature of 28 oC , the body is easily able to maintain the core temperature of 37 oC with minimal change to bodily function.
This in turn results in a core temperature in the lungs being at 37 oC, which is the optimal temperature for mucociliary transportation. This is the process in the lungs which is the first line of defence against any foreign particles from entering the lungs.
The mucociliary clearance process is responsible for capturing up to 90% of all foreign particles which enter the lungs from our breath, including but not limited to smoke, pollutants, bacteria, viruses and parasites like dust mites, mould spores, etc
Then mucociliary escalator transports these foreign particles up to the throat to be either coughed or swallowed to remove them from the airways and alveoli in our lungs.
Overheating And/or Increased Perspiration
Despite the fact that humidity doesnt actually affect the temperature in an environment, it can still convince our bodies that temperatures are higher than they really are. This is due to the fact that moisture remains on our skin in circumstances when the relative humidity levels are higher, causing it to not dissipate nearly as easily. Our bodies then cause us to perspire even more in an attempt to naturally combat this sensation. The result is us feeling warmer sometimes to the point of overheating, which can result in serious health issues such as heat stroke and exhaustion.
Read Also: Does Asthma Shorten Life Expectancy
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.
Tips To Manage Asthma In The Summer
If you discover that heat, humidity, summer air pollution, and other factors set off your asthma, try these strategies to help prevent flare-ups:
Stay indoors during heat waves: Avoid situations where you must inhale hot air. This means staying in a cool, air-conditioned building when its hotter than 85 degrees outside whenever possible.
Lower the indoor humidity: You cant control the weather, but you can keep your home environment comfortable. Running the air conditioner naturally dehumidifies the air, but this isnt always enough. If the humidity climbs above 50%, dust mites and mold could become a problem. Setting up a portable dehumidifier is an easy way to prevent excessive moisture.
Keep an eye on pollen counts: When levels become elevated, stay indoors and keep the windows closed.
Monitor the air quality index : Check your favorite weather app. You should find the current AQI, possibly even an air quality forecast for the day. If the index rises above 100, stay indoors if you can. If you must run errands, drive with the windows up and the AC set on recirculation mode.
Watch the weather forecast: If you know thunderstorms affect you, stay indoors before, during, and immediately after the storm.
Plan outdoor activities for earlier or later in the day: Most of the time, heat, humidity, poor air quality, and thunderstorms are more likely in the afternoon. Thats why mornings and evenings are typically the best times to be outside if you have asthma.
Don’t Miss: Wheezing Causes In Adults
How To Manage Asthma Symptoms During Winter
Although there is nothing you can do to completely get rid of your asthma symptoms during cold weather, there are plenty of things you can do to minimize your symptoms and make life more enjoyable. Here are a few things you should plan on doing this winter season if you want to avoid being miserable until next spring.
- Exercise indoors instead of outdoors.
- Take your asthma medication 10 15 minutes before you leave the house or exercise.
- Bundle up appropriately for cold weather, even if you are only planning to be outside for a few minutes.
- Try to keep the nasal passages clear with irrigation, saline spray or decongestants.
- Stay indoors on particularly symptomatic days or when the weather is extremely dry and cold.
- Always keep an emergency inhaler with you.
- Wear a scarf over your nose and mouth when you are outdoors.
If you do all of these things, you give yourself a better opportunity at managing your asthma symptoms and enjoying the winter season like you should.
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.
Dont Miss: Can Allergies Trigger Asthma
You May Like: What Do You Do When You Have An Asthma Attack
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.
You May Like: What To Do During An Asthma Attack No Inhaler
Are Dehumidifiers Good For Asthma
ByMeg Walters28 September 2021
There’s nothing worse than struggling for breath. So, are dehumidifiers good for asthma, or is it just another urban myth?
Whether you’re the type of person who loves the heat, or you thrive in colder temperatures, when the air gets humid in the summer, we can all find ourselves struggling to breathe normally. Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air. When humidity levels reach over 50%, we tend to suffer from the heat more than usual, as the moisture in the air prevents our sweat, the body’s cooling mechanism, from evaporating.
Because high humidity can be so uncomfortable, especially in hot temperatures, many families invest in a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity levels in their homes. Dehumidifiers use a fan to essentially suck excess moisture out of the air and release drier air back into the room, thereby rebalancing your home’s humidity levels.
While most people use dehumidifiers to make their homes feel a little cooler and fresher in the summer, you may be surprised to learn that the machines can also be useful for people with asthma. Today, we’ll be discussing how dehumidifiers can help to ease the symptoms of asthma and why, along with some tips on how to use a dehumidifier to breathe a little easier when things get humid.
You May Like: Small Airways Asthma
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 areas pollen counts.
Pollen.com Enter your zip code to get local pollen forecasts and pollen history.
Paying For Your Medicines
Most adults with asthma will need to pay a prescription charge for their medicines.
If you need to take a lot of medicines, paying for each item individually could get quite expensive. You may find it cheaper to get a prescription prepayment certificate. This is where you pay a one-off charge for all your prescriptions over a 3- or 12-month period.
You will not need to pay for your medicines if you do not normally pay prescription charges. For example, all under-16s are entitled to free prescriptions.
Read more about prescription costs to find out if youre entitled to help with your prescription charges.
Also Check: Does Ibuprofen Make Asthma Worse
Discomfort And Skin/eye Irritation
Drier conditions with low humidity can cause us to develop a range of problems due to our inability to absorb and retain sufficient moisture. The direct result of this is skin irritation, cracked lips, rashes, flaking, roughness, and eye irritation, the latter of which can develop into serious infections if not treated or rectified in time with proper, clean moisturization. Proper humidity control, set at 40% to 60% RH, can assist in minimizing these ill effects and protect our skin, hair, and eyes.