Summertime Asthma: Here Is How To Manage Effectively
The hot and humid weather prevalent during this season can make breathing difficult for people with asthma.
During the summer, when temperatures rise, people with mild asthma may face challenges dealing with the heightened heat and humidity, which can often make breathing more difficult. As the body strives to cool down, it requires more oxygen, placing additional strain on the lungs. Understanding how to effectively manage asthma in such conditions can help alleviate symptoms and allow for the enjoyment of even the hottest summer days.
However, for certain people, summer can pose challenges for managing asthma due to the combination of heat and allergies. Additionally, summer months expose individuals to different asthma triggers, such as pollen from trees, grass, or ragweed, as well as potential triggers like thunderstorms, campfires, and increased air pollution levels.
Symptoms of asthma during the summer
The symptoms of asthma in the summer are similar to those experienced at other times of the year. These symptoms include:
Coughing: It is often worse at night or in the early morning. The coughing can be dry or accompanied by mucus.
Wheezing: This is a whistling or squeaky sound that occurs when breathing out. Sometimes it can be easily heard, while other times a stethoscope is needed to detect it.
Chest tightness: This sensation may feel like something is squeezing or pressing on the chest.
Shortness of breath: Individuals may feel like they cannot fully catch their breath or take deep breaths. They may also experience a constant feeling of fatigue and being out of shape.
Triggers for asthma during the summer season
There are numerous factors that can induce asthma symptoms, both indoors and outdoors. Some typical triggers during the summer months include:
Increased levels of air pollution
During the summer season, certain environmental elements like pollen and pollution tend to become more pronounced. This heightened air pollution can have adverse effects on individuals with asthma, making them more susceptible to breathing difficulties and asthma attacks. The amplified presence of pollutants, such as smog, and a higher concentration of pollen particles can be particularly detrimental to the respiratory health of people suffering from asthma.
High temperatures and excessive humidity in the air can lead to the exacerbation of asthma symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing. The combination of heat and humidity creates favourable conditions for the proliferation of allergens like moulds and dust mites, which are known to flourish in humid environments.
Fluctuations in weather conditions
Unforeseen fluctuations in weather conditions have the potential to induce an asthma attack, even something as seemingly harmless as a pleasant cool breeze or higher humidity levels. Additionally, windy weather can exacerbate discomfort for individuals with allergies to mould, pollen, or grass.
Tips for preventing summer asthma triggers:
Avoid leaving wet clothes outdoors for an extended period:
Pollen can accumulate on clothes that are hung outside to dry. Opt for using a clothes dryer during times when pollen levels are elevated.
Minimise summertime activities:
To minimise the risk of asthma symptoms, it is recommended to minimise outdoor activities during periods of intense heat and dust storms. High temperatures and dusty conditions can irritate the airways and trigger asthma symptoms. If venturing outdoors is unavoidable, it is advisable to limit exposure by planning outdoor endeavours for cooler hours, like early mornings or late evenings.
In the summertime, if you follow your medication plan closely, you can participate in your preferred sports without any restrictions. However, it is crucial to inform the coach about your asthma condition. It is essential for both you and the coach to be able to identify symptoms and understand when you should pause the activity and use a quick-relief inhaler.
Make sure to store your asthma inhalers away from direct sunlight and avoid exposing them to excessive heat, such as inside the glove compartment of your car. It's important to keep your inhalers easily accessible and in a cool place. Regardless of the weather conditions, remember to take your controller medications as prescribed and always carry your relief inhaler with you. Asthma symptoms can unexpectedly occur, especially during extreme temperatures, so it's best to be prepared.
During hot and humid days, it is recommended to remain indoors. While summer holidays often involve overnight stays and travelling, it is best to minimise outdoor activities, especially under the sun. If you do need to go outside, make sure to check the weather forecast beforehand and prepare an asthma travel pack containing all the essential medications. Additionally, it is advisable to reduce your time spent in humid environments.
Ensuring proper hydration and consuming ample water is of utmost importance, particularly when exposed to extreme heat. To prolong your hydration and keep yourself cool, it is highly recommended to carry a thermal water bottle with you during your daily activities.
Similar to any other season, summer has its drawbacks and unpleasant aspects. While some people may easily disregard or adjust to the heat and humidity during these warmer months, others face greater challenges, particularly those with health conditions like asthma. It is important to effectively manage asthma during summer and make the most out of the season!Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.