Preparing For Spring

Spring is right around the corner. The snow is beginning to melt, the birds are chirping, and the leaves are starting to grow on the bare tree branches. This all means one thing: POLLEN IS COMING.

For many asthmatics, pollen causes a great deal of breathing issues. While we can’t stop spring from coming, there are some things you can do to help prepare yourself from experiencing increasing asthma symptoms.

Watch the weather

Increasing temperatures causes plants to grow and produce pollen. Pair that with a windy spring day and you potentially have a recipe for an asthma exacerbation. I have a few weather apps on my phone and I watch the forecast.

Use allergy and asthma apps

There are many different allergy apps available for smartphones as well as your computer. I also have a few of these on my phone. You can set them up so they will send you an alert when certain types of pollen are high as well as the daily pollen/allergen forecast.

Prepare for the worst

If you are expecting a bad allergy and asthma day, be sure to prepare if you need to leave your home. I always carry a face mask with me wherever I go. I keep it in my purse so I am never stuck in a situation without it. The kind I have is a reusable one with a small filter on it and I purchased it from Amazon. Mid-morning and early evening tend to be the worst times for pollen, so do your best to avoid being outdoors if possible.

Give your action plan a tune-up

If you do not have an Asthma Action Plan, be sure to talk with your doctor the next time you have an appointment. An action plan is a written plan that outlines your daily asthma medications as well as what to do and what additional medicines to take when your asthma starts acting up. It also tells you exactly when to call your doctor and/or seek medical attention.

Asthma is a disease that can change over time, and this is why it is very important to update your action plan accordingly. Sometimes asthmatics will add allergy medication as a part of their spring regimen to help keep asthma symptoms down. Be sure to always talk to your doctor before starting any over the counter or not allergy medicine.

Do some asthma-friendly spring cleaning

Start your spring cleaning early! Replace your air filters in your home and, as tempting as it may be, keep your windows closed on high pollen days if you are really sensitive to it.

We’ve all heard the story of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who “predicts” when spring will begin. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, spring is right around the corner. Phil doesn’t predict the actual date of the start of spring, but whether the colder weather will stick around longer than normal or spring temperatures will come early.

Punx didn't see his shadow this year, meaning spring is supposed to come early. However, he is only right about 39% of the time. Either way, I'll be prepared for asthma this spring!

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