Asthma is a year-round condition, but as winter gives way to summer, the situations that actuate an asthma attack change with the seasons, too. Be on the lookout for these common asthma triggers in summer, which can blemish the long-awaited summer without the right preparation.
For most asthma sufferers, it’s the cold and dry air of summer that’s problematic. In some cases, however, it’s warm air that more often triggers asthma attacks. Hot air can constrict the airways, leading to shortness of breath. Often, it’s not the temperature of the air itself so much as what the warm air carries. Mold and pollen are more active in warm air than in cold air, which makes the summer challenging for sufferers of allergic asthma.
There are many regions of America where the unofficial slogan is “if you don’t like the weather, just wait ten minutes.” This is never truer than in the summertime, when storms can materialize in moments, high winds can unexpectedly kick up, and temperatures can go from hot to hotter without warning. These sharp vacillations in weather often trigger attacks, particularly when mold and pollen are involved. Just as the warmer air is more likely to carry pollen and mold spores, strong winds are likely to bring them in, while the moisture from a sudden storm can make a preexisting mold allergy especially miserable, even leading to allergic asthma attacks.
Going outside in the summer practically compels us to get moving. Whether it’s running, swimming, cycling, or playing sports with friends, it’s hard to let a nice day go to waste. Unfortunately, some of these activities are a real mismatch with asthma. Be on the lookout for activities that require sky-high stamina, like long-distance running or cycling. Fortunately, almost any activity can be a safe one with the proper precautions—keep an inhaler on hand and take care not to overexert yourself.
We know that cigarette smoke, among its many other deleterious effects, is a dangerous trigger of asthma attacks. Even less pernicious forms of smoke that make up the many smells of summer—campfires, bonfires, grills, even fireworks displays—can spoil the season by causing attacks. Gathering around a bonfire or a fire pit can be a welcome occasion after so many months apart, but you’ll want to keep an inhaler on hand. If you’re planning on spending your 4th of July beholding some fireworks, choose a vantage point that won’t be downwind of the ashes those explosives leave behind.
Preparing for Summer
With summer on the way, don’t let any of the common asthma triggers in summer spoil your season. Allergy & ENT Associates is your asthma specialist in the Houston area, but if you’re reading this from beyond East Texas, be sure to find a specialist near you. You shouldn’t feel compelled to spend your summer indoors, and with the right strategies, you won’t have to.