Changing Weather and Asthma
If you're like me, weather can be a pretty gnarly trigger for my asthma. I joke with my friends and family that my lungs are a barometer and can tell when the weather is changing. Some people can feel the change in barometric pressure in their joints, while I can feel it in my lungs. I think many of us asthmatics can pretty much pinpoint one season of the year when our asthma tends to act up more. For me, it usually transitions from spring to the summer.
The weather starts to heat up and can become downright miserable. I find myself checking weather reports often so I can prepare myself for the day and week. Once you have been able to figure out which weather patterns tend to set off your asthma more than others, you'll be able to prepare for it.
Pay attention to the weather forecast
I have several different weather apps on my phone as well as I watch the weather reports on the news so I can adequately plan ahead. You might also find it beneficial to keep an eye on the local pollen counts, especially if your asthma is the allergic kind and air quality reports. If you have allergic asthma and you notice the pollen counts are particularly high one day or week you can adjust your plans accordingly to minimize your exposure.
Dealing with the heat
The heat and especially the humidity make my lungs very angry. When the air is thick and humid it makes it hard for me to breathe. Dry heat can also make it difficult to breathe if you aren't staying hydrated. It is super important to stay hydrated during the hot summer months. Keep a full water bottle with you at all times when you are out and about and try to stay indoors and limit your exposure to the heat.
Dealing with the cold
Similarly to dealing with the heat, it's important to limit your time outdoors when it is very cold outside. If you have to be out, wearing a scarf over your mouth and nose can help warm the air as it enters your mouth and nose. Similarly to when it is hot, it can be very dry when it is cold outside. It is equally important to stay hydrated. Dress in layers to help keep your body temperature regulated.
No matter the temperature, wind can cause a real problem for asthmatics. Wind can kick up pollen, dust, and many other airborne asthma triggers. It can also carry smoke from fires that are many miles away. I make sure to carry a scarf with me similarly to when it is cold out to cover my mouth and nose when it is windy outside.
Wet weather can create a whole new set of problems for asthmatics. Moisture can create the prime breeding ground for mold. Rain can increase mold spores and blow around pollen and mold. Rain does wash away most pollen from from the environment but before it does, it will burst open the spores, which can be a nightmare for asthmatics.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with weather as an asthmatic is to be prepared. Plan ahead and be prepared for changes in the weather. I carry an extra scarf and sweater in my car along with a couple water bottles. Pay attention to your body and once you have figured out which weather pattern is most problematic you can be prepared to adapt to it.
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