For people who live with severe asthma, weather changes can trigger an acute attack. While extreme changes in the weather are more irritating for the airways, the changes in weather affect pollen count and trigger symptoms in those with allergic asthma. Some weather types that are notorious for triggering asthma include: cold temperatures, high humidity, thunderstorms, rain, sudden changes in weather, and high heat. Additionally, changes in weather, such as during spring and fall can also trigger asthma. Most chronic patients of asthma visit their healthcare providers and Medical Specialist in Lahore for prophylactic care during pollen season.
Asthma: high pollen count
Pollen season wreaks havoc on people with seasonal allergies. Those with allergic asthma also feel worsening of symptoms and undergo acute attacks. Asthma attacks may or may not be accompanied by skin allergies. An allergist can help one figure out the specific kinds of pollens that are bothersome to the body. This type of asthma is managed by antihistamine medication, inhalers, allergy shots and avoidance of the allergen.
Asthma: thunderstorms and winds
Thunderstorms and windy weather also pose a threat to people with asthma. The rain and the wind mobilize the pollen by breaking it into smaller pieces so they spread in the air. Once they are wind-borne, these particles go into the lungs and irritate the airway. This is commonly referred to as ‘thunderstorm asthma’. The best way to avoid thunderstorm asthma is to stay indoors in stormy weather, with windows and doors closed.
Asthma: cold weather
Breathing in dry, cold air irritate the airways. This irritation results in tightening of the airways—known as bronchoconstriction. The body is designed to react to changes in the temperature in this way. However, people who suffer from asthma can have a stronger reaction, especially if one is not taking their medication. Well-controlled asthma, on the other hand, is less likely to be set off in the cold.
Moreover, in cold weather, the body produces more mucus because the vessels in the nose become dilated and congested, in trying to warm up the air entering the nose. This results in a runny nose during colds. This mucus, if produced in the lungs, is known as phlegm, and the latter along with cough are pretty common in asthmatics during the winters.
Asthma: hot weather
Just like the cold, hot weather also brings on the symptoms of asthma. The heat, combines with the pollutants that directly trigger the airway to constrict. In other cases, the heat produces ground-level ozone O3, which is a strong trigger of asthma. Certain chemicals and pollutants in the air also mix in the heat to produce smog. Its best to stay indoors in such weather to minimize exposure to pollutant and irritants.
Damp, hot air makes breathing difficult. Additionally, moist weather also allows mold and dust mites to foster, both of which are bad for the lungs. In such weather if one needs to be outdoors, its best to venture in the afternoon when its least humid.
How to deal with weather changes in asthma?
Controlled asthma rarely gets worse with weather changes. Be sure to take your medications timely even when you don’t have any symptoms. Prevention is better than cure, and your healthcare provider and Medical Specialist in Karachi must have prescribed medication to you for asthma prophylaxis. Try to stay indoors during extremes of weather, and use weather forecast apps to show you asthma alerts. You can also track the local air quality index (AQI) with these apps. An AQI of more than 101 is bad for asthmatics; try to stay indoors on such days or carry an inhaler on you at all times.