Can the Weather Affect a Person’s Asthma?
The Weather-Asthma Connection
Weather can bring on asthma symptoms. Some people find their asthma gets worse at certain times of the year. For others, a severe storm or sudden weather change may trigger a flare-up.
Hot, humid air also can be a problem. In some places, heat and sunlight combine with pollutants to create ground-level ozone. This kind of ozone can be a strong asthma trigger.
Wet weather and windy weather can cause problems, too. Wet weather encourages the growth of mold, and wind can blow mold and pollen through the air.
If you think weather may be triggering your asthma, work with your doctor to track your symptoms using an asthma symptoms trigger diary. Do you think that your asthma may be triggered by pollen, mold, or other allergens? Ask your doctor about allergy testing.
Tips to Try
If air quality or weather affect you, there are some things you can try to make things better:
- Watch the weather forecast: Many forecasts give information on pollen counts and other conditions that might affect your asthma.
- Limit your outdoor activity on days when your triggers are strongest.
- Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose when you’re outside during very cold weather.
- Close windows to keep pollens and molds out. This can be important at night while you are sleeping. If it’s hot, turn on the air conditioning. Not only is air conditioning cooling, it also dries and even filters the air you breathe.
- Stay indoors early in the morning (before 10 a.m.) when pollen levels are at their highest.
- Avoid mowing the lawn and raking leaves.
- Keep your quick-relief medicine with you at all times.
Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: January 2014