Why Asthma Symptoms Can Vary With The Seasons

Author : banarjee sherie | Published On : 24 Oct 2021

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the lungs and creates breathing difficulties. In this condition, the airways become narrow and swell and may even produce extra mucus. This causes difficulty in breathing and triggers symptoms like persistent coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and more. This condition cannot be cured but it is possible for someone with asthma to lead a healthy life by managing the condition with inhalers.

While the asthma signs and symptoms are evident throughout the year, some people witness their signs get worse as the seasons change. Crisp and cold winter air causes a spike in asthma symptoms and summer air can equally worsen the signs for those with the condition. There are many reasons why the symptoms get worse with changing seasons. Let’s explore why asthma symptoms can vary with the seasons.

Winter

Winter season witnesses a huge spike in the symptoms of asthma. The cold and dry air of winters can aggravate asthma. This is also the season for cold and flu which can further trigger the symptoms. When winter air is inhaled, it causes your lungs to become irritated and also makes them secrete more mucus. This further restricts the airflow and makes it difficult for you to breathe. Another cause for the condition to get worse in winter is that the fluid layer present in the lungs evaporates when cold air is inhaled. Your body cannot replace the fluid fast enough and this causes inflammation and triggers symptoms like wheezing and breathlessness.

How to control asthma in winter

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf. If scarves do not work for you, use a mask instead. This will act as a filter and prevent cold air from entering your lungs directly.
  • Drink warm fluids before you head out in the cold air.
  • Skip on outdoor workouts during winters and consider working out indoors.
  • Make sure your body is warmed up before you start your workout.

For more tips on controlling your asthma in winters, click here.

Monsoon

The cold environment during monsoons can also contribute to the worsening of asthma signs and symptoms. The dampness in the surrounding leads to fungus and can trigger allergies which may further lead to an asthma attack. The rain-dispersed pollen can also trigger the symptoms and the effect is mostly seen at night. The season also brings in higher chances of viral infections and can trigger allergens and cause the symptoms to become worse.

How can asthma be prevented in monsoon

  • Avoid contact with pets and animals. Since animals tend to stay indoors to avoid getting wet, your exposure to pet dander also increases. Pet dander does not go away even after vacuuming and is one of the triggers that can worsen your symptoms.
  • Keep your surroundings clean and dry because mould build-up is common in monsoons and it can act as a trigger for asthma.
  • Wash all your pillowcases, bedsheets, rugs, etc with warm water. This will help you get rid of house dust mites which is one of the most common allergens that grows the most during monsoons.

To know more about managing asthma in the monsoon, click here.

Summer

Asthma episodes in summer are comparatively lower than other seasons. However, some people with the condition do not adjust well with heat and humidity and may notice that their symptoms get worse in summer. Poor air quality is associated with the season which can lead to pollutants hanging in air and becoming more concentrated. This makes asthmatics more prone to breathing issues and asthma attacks.

How to manage asthma in summer

  • Summer comes with a lot of pollen. Stay away from flowering trees and wear a mask when you step out if required.
  • Prefer to exercise early in the morning in summers because the air quality is much better and the temperature is also pleasing.
  • Know your triggers and take precautions to avoid them. While pollen and poor air quality are major triggers of asthma in summers, watch out for other triggers as well.
  • Stay indoors and keep yourself hydrated. Avoiding pollen and the humid and hot weather can significantly reduce the symptoms of asthma. Water acts as an expectorant and clears your lungs and makes it easier for you to breathe.

Spring

Spring season brings the pollen season with it. Pollen is an allergen and a known trigger that can cause the airways to become inflamed and cause difficulty in breathing. The unpredictability of the season and changes in temperature play a role in triggering signs of asthma. Just like the flu season, pollen season is associated with an increase in asthma-related visits to the hospital.

How to control asthma in spring

  • Since spring brings in the pollen season, keep your windows closed and use an air purifier or an air conditioner that can filter air properly.
  • Take off your shoes when you enter your home because shoes can carry pollen with it.
  • Make sure you take a shower before bed and wash all your clothes in warm water. This will help in getting rid of any pollen that is stuck on your clothes.
  • Keep your surroundings clean by vacuuming frequently. This will help you get rid of pollen and other allergens that might have entered your surroundings.

Though the signs and symptoms of asthma vary from season to season and person to person, they can be easily managed with medications, inhalers, and by taking a few precautions. Regardless of the season, make sure you know your triggers well and take proper steps to avoid them. Meet your doctor on a regular basis and come up with an effective treatment plan to help you manage your condition better.