Asthma is more common than you may think. The Center of Disease Control reported more than 6 million cases of childhood asthma in the US, affecting 1 in every 12 children. For some, it gets worse in the summertime. Why? Let’s take a closer look at the triggers of summertime asthma and how you can stay alert and prepared so you can have a happy, healthy summer.
Triggers for Summertime Asthma
There are different seasonal factors that can trigger asthma symptoms in people. In summertime, the most common factors include:
1) Heat and humidity
2) Pollution (smoke from cookouts and increased ozone pollution due to sun and heat)
3) Chemicals (chlorine in swimming pools or cleaning products)
4) High pollen and mold content
How to Prepare for Summertime Asthma
Asthma triggers vary from person to person, so it’s important to watch for patterns in what may be triggering you or your family member’s asthma. Partner with your doctor or allergist to come up with the best asthma management plan to avoid chronic episodes or emergency situations.
To prepare yourself for summertime asthma, be sure to:
- Monitor pollen counts for your area. For Galveston pollen counts, click here. If the pollen count is high — which happens mostly on windy, warmer days — avoid going outdoors as much as possible. Pollen counts are typically highest in the morning through midday, so try waiting until later in the day to go outside if you must.
- Keep your windows closed and air conditioning on in your home or car, which can help prevent pollen from blowing inside.
- Dust frequently to keep pollen from accumulating indoors.
- Don’t hang towels or clothes outdoors to dry. This can cause pollen to stick to them and expose you to allergens.
- Talk to your doctor about different medications that can be used to treat summer allergies and asthma.
- Take your asthma steroid medications as prescribed to prevent symptoms.
- Bring your rescue inhaler everywhere you go should symptoms arise.