When spring hits, you might find it more difficult to control your asthma symptoms. There are many reasons behind this, and there are definitely certain spring asthma triggers to watch out for. Of course, everyone suffering from asthma can have different triggers and symptoms. So, it is important to have regular appointments with a respiratory therapist to ensure proper treatment. We all know about common spring injuries, but here are just a few common asthma triggers that you might encounter this spring.
7 Spring Asthma Triggers
1. Allergens (pollen, grass, trees, etc.)
Allergies and asthma often come hand-in-hand. If you’re experiencing more intense asthma symptoms while outdoors, it could be due to Mother Nature herself. Springtime asthma is often referred to as allergic asthma, and it’s very common. Pollen, along with certain trees and even just plain old grass can serve as spring asthma triggers. Limiting the time you spend outside can help lessen the chances of an asthma attack and lower symptoms. Also, using the AC while in your house or car instead of opening the windows will keep your exposure to a minimum. You can use weather apps or other pollen tracking apps to gauge the pollen counts in the air around you.
Spring is a great time for bonfires, but they might not be so great for your asthma. Any kind of smoke is a huge trigger for asthma, so be careful around campfires. If possible, sit upwind of the smoke or away from the fire. We don’t want you to miss out on some great smores, but be sure to exercise proper caution when engaging.
You know what they say… April showers bring May flowers. Rain is one of the main causes pollen spreading. When a thunderstorm hits, wind speeds are often kicked up, which even further spreads the pollen. Try to stay indoors during storms in order to avoid allergen exposure. Also, try to remain indoors as long as possible after a storm. This isn’t always possible, but it could improve your breathing and lower the risk of an asthma attack.
4. Temperature changes
It’s known that certain weather conditions can affect asthma. Temperature changes can cause inflammation in the airways, and this also includes humidity. Cold air is more aggravating, but heat can also trigger symptoms. When spring is just starting to roll in, we tend to experience unpredictable weather. It’s 70 degrees one day, 40 the next, and so on. These quick drastic changes can put a huge strain on the airways and cause flare-ups. Heat is also included as a spring asthma trigger, as smog, exhaust fumes, and pollutants tend to be stronger.
If you’re prone to seasonal asthma symptoms and allergies, taking part in the spring cleaning movement will be beneficial. When dust accumulates, it makes a nice trap for pollen. So, now you have pollen outside and inside. But, dust alone can still be one of the most common spring asthma triggers. It floats through the air and can cause irritation in your airways. You might not like cleaning, but you’ll thank yourself later for it.
Exercise-induced asthma is another common form of the condition. As the weather gets warmer, people tend to be more physically active. Researchers believe that exercise-induced asthma is caused by the cool air that is inhaled, which dries the lining of breathing tubes. While exercise is on the list as one of the spring asthma triggers, it’s also an important healing practice for individuals with asthma. Physical activity improves our lung capacity and blood flow. Asthma shouldn’t keep you away from exercise; just make sure you’re managing it correctly.
With an increase of moisture in the air, there’s an increase of mold. If there are damp areas of your house such as a basement, the warm air that spring brings can accelerate the growth of mold. Outside, mold can be found in soil, wood, or other substances. Mold is easily airborne, so it can be transported to different areas, both inside and outside.
Beyond these spring asthma triggers, you can talk with your doctor about medications that will help you cope with symptoms. If you have an inhaler, you should keep it with you at all times, especially if you are prone to asthma attacks. Having quick access to it can be a game-changer when asthma decides to strike.