October 1st saw the beginning of Asthma and Allergy season.
But can the weather really affect a person’s asthma?
The short answer is yes it certainly can.
Weather conditions of different types can bring on asthma symptoms. They can also worsen mild symptoms and trigger a potentially lethal attack.
Some people’s asthma symptoms get worse at certain times of the year. For others, a severe storm or sudden weather change can trigger a serious and life-threatening flare-up. We saw this in 2017 in Melbourne with many infrequent Asthma suffers being hospitalised.
It seems that cold, dry conditions can be a common asthma trigger seen in many. It can cause bad flare-ups and major issues for victims of asthma. This is particularly noticeable for people who play winter sports. It is also common in those that suffer exercise-induced asthma.
Hot, humid air can also be a problem and a major trigger for some. In some areas, heat and sunlight combine with pollutants to create ground-level ozone. This kind of ozone can prove to be a strong asthma trigger.
Wet weather and windy weather may also cause problems, too. Wet weather encourages the growth of mould. The wind then agitates and blows the mould and pollen through the air.
If you think a change in the weather may be triggering your asthma or making it worse then you should talk to your Doctor. Don’t ignore the symptoms. Instead, work with them and start to track your symptoms using an asthma symptom trigger diary. Do you think that your asthma might be triggered by pollen, mould, or other allergens? Ask your doctor about allergy testing and determine exactly what is the cause.
Weather – Management Tips that are worth a Try
If you believe that air quality or the weather affect you then try these tips to help make life a little better:
Watch the weather forecast. Many forecasts give information on pollen counts and other conditions that might affect your asthma. Monitor this alongside your diary. The forecasts here are pretty reliable so get used to acting upon the information!
Limit your outdoor activity on days when your triggers are strongest. If it is wind, damp or otherwise then find things to do inside instead.
Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose when you’re outside during very cold weather and if you can bear it during hot weather too. This will definitely improve your situation if the weather is a trigger.
Keep your windows and doors closed to keep pollens and moulds out. This is also important at night while you sleep. Try not to sleep with the window open. If it’s hot, turn on the air conditioning. Not only is air conditioning cooling, it also dries and even filters the air you breathe.
Stay indoors early in the morning (before 10 a.m.). This is when pollen levels are at their highest and most likely to trigger an attack.
Avoid mowing the lawn and raking leaves. It is a much better idea to get someone else to do it!
Keep your quick-relief medicine with you at all times and use it if you need to!
Most important is DO NOT IGNORE ANY SYMPTOMS. If you feel unwell then seek medical attention. Don’t get caught out!