Scorching summer weather can affect asthma sufferers more than others, which is due to several different factors. Because hot, humid air can cause complications for people with asthma, it's important to know how to manage it.
Humid air is harder to breathe in because moist air feels heavier and denser. It can also activate sensory nerves in the airways, which is thought to cause them to narrow and stimulate coughing. Hot and humid conditions also provide the perfect environment for dust mites, mold, and pollen, which are all common triggers for people with allergies and allergic asthma. Heat and humidity can also raise ozone levels, which is the main culprit in air pollution, further adding to the obstacles people with asthma and allergies can face during the summer.
Here are some tips to help you breathe easy as you navigate summer heat:
- Stay cool: Keeping yourself and your medications cool is crucial to controlling your asthma in warm weather.
- Go Inside: Sometimes it's best to avoid heat and humidity altogether. Dehumidifiers can help if you have a swamp cooler that's always running.
- Be Early: Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when the temperature and air quality are more tolerable.
- Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is important for managing asthma in the summer and many other health concerns as well.
- Plan Ahead: Check the pollen count and air quality index in your area before making outdoor plans on hot and humid days.
- Be Prepared: Keep your reliever medication on hand, know your limits, and talk to your doctor to make sure your treatment is right for you. Having an asthma action plan can also be invaluable in helping you manage your summer asthma safely.