Fall: My Favorite Asthma Season!
With fall coming, I’m reflecting on how great the upcoming season typically is for my asthma. Last fall, I experienced one of the best bouts of asthma control I probably ever had.
I hope that remains the same for this fall—I found some notes recently that in fall 2016 I was typically only needing my rescue inhaler once or twice a week. While yes, I think I likely had symptoms more than stands out, the fact I said I think in the original notes is a pretty good sign that things were going well.
Why fall rocks for me
I have no allergies to mold or random pollens that may thrive in the fall. I imagine that this is probably what people who have mostly allergic asthma who find fall a bad season for them and do better in the Winter might find difficult about fall time.
The decrease in humidity that comes in the summer is great for my breathing, and unlike Springtime, I don’t have the dustiness to contend with like tends to arise in Spring from the sand used to keep our wintry Winnipeg streets safe.1 (By the way, I just googled to confirm this fact, and I found an article from 7 years ago where I discussed the effects of dusty spring streets on my asthma. Ha!).
Fall with asthma isn't ALWAYS the best
With that said, Fall does also cause an increase in cold and flu viruses with more people re-conglomerating in small spaces—kids going back to school, namely!—giving rise to what’s known as the September Asthma Peak. Fall allergens don’t get me (also part of the Peak), and I’m fortunate that I’m no longer in school to pick up those germs, and one thing I don’t miss at all about my daycare job, is that I’m not in an elementary school all the time subject to those germs!
Fall brings with it, of course, a reprieve to cooler air, which—when cool and not cold—makes my lungs happy. I find fall is the season where I’m able to get the most outdoor activity in comfortably. I’m not much into heat and my lungs aren’t either, and ditto on the cold—our Winnipeg winters freak my lungs out. So it’s lovely to have a “happy medium” season for awhile to enjoy. If only it lasted longer!
The good kind of treatment adjustments (a fall, if you will!)
It’s disappointing fall doesn’t last longer, because it’s the time I’m most able to decrease my asthma meds and not pay for it. Sure, I may only be able to get down to one puff of Zenhale from two, and usually have to bump up my inhaled steroid, Qvar, to compensate, but being able to decrease the long-acting bronchodilator slightly is still a win in my book, if only for a couple of months. Maybe one day I’ll be able to drop this year-round, but I haven’t gotten there yet. (And my asthma doctor is pretty adamant I stay on at least one puff of it!)
Oh, and while nothing to do with asthma, the hoodies-and-jeans combo is my favorite hands-down, so it’s not exactly surprising that fall is my favorite season, even outside of asthma.
Which is the worst season for your asthma?
Have you ever gotten "moon face" as a side effect of prednisone?