Summer brings with it heat & humidity, that often make breathing more difficult for those with Asthma. Breathing hot air in the summer may aggravate your symptoms. There are many reasons why this can occur, including amplified air pollution from smog & higher pollen counts which are common banes to the lungs. As the body tries to cool itself, it uses up more Oxygen which makes the lungs work tougher. Knowing how to manage your Asthma in these conditions will help you avoid Asthma symptoms and enjoy even the hottest of summer days.
Hot, humid air may trigger Asthma symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath. Limit your exposure to humid environments. Stay indoors on hot, humid days. Heat and humidity provide a perfect fertile breeding ground for allergens such as dust mites, which thrive in humid air, and mould. Take measures to control dust mites, mould, and humidity-related allergens that grow in warm, moist environments. Use a damp cloth for dusting, vacuum regularly. People with known dust mite allergy may want to use hypoallergic bedding covers.
Summer can intensify environmental factors such as pollen or pollution. These, in turn, may worsen a person’s symptoms or trigger an Asthma attack. Summer vacation often includes overnight stays and travel away from home. Be sure you are prepared by putting together an Asthma travel pack with all of the medicines and instructions. Do check the weather forecast and air quality where you’re going and plan accordingly.
During summer with attention to the medication regimen and close follow-ups, most children with Asthma can play the sport of their choice. It is important for the coach to be aware of the child’s Asthmatic condition though. Both your child and coach should be able to recognize symptoms and know when your child should stop the activity and use the quick-relief inhaler.
Keep your asthma inhalers out of direct sunlight and out of places known to get too hot, such as the glove compartment of your car. Your inhalers should stay close-by and cool.
No matter the weather, take your controller medications regularly and keep your relief inhaler with you. You never know when Asthma symptoms may strike, especially in extreme heat.
Inputs by Dr. Prashant Chhajed, Head of Respiratory Medicine, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi- A Fortis Network Hospital