Hat and mitten weather, changing seasons and changes in asthma symptoms.
Last updated: May 2018
I have been lucky enough to have been enjoying unseasonably warm weather for this time of year. Unfortunately, the cold stuff is nipping at my heals. We have had a few seasonal days which while expected, were less than welcomed by my lungs. I usually have my greatest seasonal challenges between summer and fall. I always forget that there are a few days of adjustment when heading to winter. Of course one of the most important things to remember is that it is now COLD outside and chilly temperatures can be triggers all on their own without any help from the usual triggers. Cold weather can cause constriction of the airways , which I can attest to, can be particularly problematic and in some cases dangerous to asthmatics.1 It is best to be prepared for the cold weather by having rescue medication hand or pre-medicating if that is part of your asthma action plan that you have developed with your doctor. We also need to dress appropriately for the weather and breathing through your nose can be beneficial. Your nose is its own humidifier, designed to specifically warm and humidify air.
Many people say that you can smell or feel fall and winter in the air. Some of that "smell' could be related to mold spores. Along with the chilly temps, wind and rain can cause real issues. Rain has the ability to catalyze and spread mold spores. Wind can blow around those increased mold spores and pollen. Thus, spreading the love of allergens and triggers back into your pathway. It is really easy to forget that pollens are still in the air and may not be dead, or have moved on to some other life form.
Whether you love the smell of changing seasons or if they give you a headache. We often just have to embrace the season that is next on the horizon. Speaking of headaches, I often get a headache during season changes, especially when there are sudden and drastic temperatures. For example, when the temperature drop almost significant from short weather to winter coat weather. I noticed a recent trend that is likely or at least highly suspected by my doctor that there is the possibility that changes in air pressure and barometric pressure, may have been triggering or are at least moderately related to triggering sinus situations and sinusitis. If you add the sinus situation, to the increase respiratory symptoms and for me, a pesky cough that tends to apart during weather changes. You have the making for a pathway to what I like to call a "Respiratory Situation" essentially increased symptoms which can skirt the definition go full-blown exacerbation.
If I had any recommendations, it would be to keep a keen eye on changing symptoms (I am sure you all do) but sometimes we need a reminder that symptoms may not be normal and there could be external factors affecting us, like good old mother nature.
How often do you find time to focus on yourself?
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