How Weather Affects Your Asthma

Weather can affect asthma and precipitate an attack, either by its direct impact, or indirectly by promoting growth or accumulation of potential allergens in the surrounding environment. While most often, it is the outdoors that are the culprit, indoor dwelling spaces can also be affected. Awareness of these can help in preventing asthma attacks.
How Weather Affects Your Asthma
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Weather can have a correlation with the exacerbation of asthma. While no weather is fully safe, winter can often be the worst. More importantly, one should look to identify some seasonal pattern that may suggest the times of year when the weather may contribute to an acute worsening of asthma, and prepare for making adjustments to prevent such a happening.

 

Factors that can Trigger Asthmatic Attack

An attack of asthma can be precipitated by any number of factors. However, four of them are most important as triggers – exposure to a substance that can cause an allergic reaction like pollen, dust or

fungus; any infection of airways; a sudden change in temperature; and exertion. Weather can predispose to asthma by helping any one of these four to happen.

Winter is the Worst

The worst weather for asthma is winter, when the air is cold and dry. In such times, going out of the air-conditioned indoors to the outside exposes you to sudden changes in temperature, which trigger a hypersensitivity reaction in the airways and lead to the chain of events that can end in an asthmatic attack. Thus, shielding against sudden changes of temperature in winter is one of the most important precautions for asthmatics.

Exercising outdoors in cold weather, such as by jogging or walking need to be undertaken by Asthmatics, especially if you are not used to it, or not doing so on a regular basis. Even you are, you still need to be careful when the temperature suddenly changes for the worse. If at all going for such exercises, asthmatics should cover themselves up, and to the extent possible, also try to get some cover for you face in such a way that the air entering your airways gets warmed up a bit.

Another common phenomenon observed commonly in winter months in large cities is ‘smog’ that develops the interaction of cold weather, high humidity and air pollution, resulting into a form of aerosol that engulfs everything around it. For asthma patients, it is a potential precipitant, with some getting affected more frequently than others.

Summer & Spring: Sprawling Growth can be a Problem

All weathers that lead to sprawling growth of plants and flowers in your neighborhood like spring and summers can also be dangerous depending upon your allergic predisposition to the pollens growing around. Not every asthmatic is however, equally allergic to these pollens. Many a times, if you are able to identify an association between the particular part of the year when you are having


more frequent attacks, it may  be possible to have better asthma control either by moving in to a less exposed residence or by remaining indoors more often during those times of the year. A simpler option, of course, could be to avoid outdoor exposure during these months.

Humid & Windy Weathers are not safe either

Humid weather, whether hot or cold, always leads to more respiratory infections, as the micro-aerosol particles containing infectious virus or bacteria are able to survive a lot longer in a humid environment. In such weathers, one can get infected more easily through the air, especially in crowded places. Those with asthma should always strive to keep infections down, as they almost always worsen the asthma. Very often they cause a vicious cycle, as infection leads to worsening to asthma which in turn predisposes to more infections.

Windy weathers with a lot of dust or mold around are also a danger, as it carries the potential allergens in to your airways thereby triggering the allergic process and attack of asthma. Dust is always the main culprit in such cases, and so primary importance should be given to avoid dust rather than the weather itself.

Humid weather can even lead to growth of allergens within your dwelling spaces, including the place where you work. Thus, it would make a lot of sense to be cautious about this possibility. Particularly in cases where you can see a worsening of your condition in these months, and you can rule out outdoor exposure as a precipitant it would make sense to go for a makeover of the place, get it cleaned and maybe painted afresh, so that it gets rid of all potential allergens.

Be Aware & Take Precautions

Thus, weather can affect asthma in many ways. So it makes sense to remember what can possibly go wrong. However, one should also remember that what can possibly go wrong may not always happen, especially if you take some precautions. It is also wise to remember that with necessary precautions and consciousness about your condition, you can still go on with life, including facing weathers that predispose to asthma.



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