As we all know, winter is the most prominent seasonal culprit for worsening asthma symptoms. However, hot and humid weather can also cause asthma symptoms to flare up. And with British weather being unpredictable as ever and our cold and hot days seemingly becoming more extreme, we thought we would cover some general and weather-specific tips on how you can keep your asthma under control this year.
General Tips (for both cold and hot days):
– Continue taking your preventer inhaler to reduce the likelihood you will get symptoms and prevent asthma attacks.
– Make sure your reliever inhaler is always with you so you can react if symptoms do appear.
– Have a written asthma action plan so you know what to do if your symptoms exacerbate. Ensure your plan is kept visible (e.g., posting it on your fridge), share the plan with others, and check it once a month to keep it fresh in your memory. If you do not have an action plan, you can either ask your asthma doctor or nurse for one or print one out from Asthma UK’s website and take it to discuss at your next asthma appointment.
– Attend your regular asthma reviews to check you are on the right medication and that you are taking the inhalers appropriately to get the best control over your symptoms.
– Do not smoke, as smoking can increase the frequency and severity of symptoms.
Cold Weather Tips:
– Wear warm clothing such as gloves, a hat and a scarf and stay dry if out in the cold. You could try loosely covering your nose and mouth with a scarf which prevents a gulp of cold air from triggering symptoms by warming the air you breathe.
– Try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth; again, this helps warm the air you breathe in.
Hot Weather Tips:
– Check pollen forecasts as pollen is a common trigger of asthma symptoms. You can also use antihistamines to control your hay fever which will then benefit your asthma.
– Plan outdoor activities such as exercise for earlier in the day as the air quality is much better then.
– Keep inhalers in a cool and dry place to ensure they continue to work. Place inhalers in a cool bag when travelling.
Experiencing asthma flare-ups during cold and hot days can be troublesome and negatively impact your day-to-day activities. However, if you follow the above tips and keep attending your regular asthma reviews, you will be more than well-equipped to manage your asthma symptoms.