Summer Asthma Triggers: Watch Out For Your Health

Summertime Asthma Triggers

Just because it’s summertime doesn’t mean your asthma is taking a vacation. While winter brings more obvious asthma triggers, the hotter months have their own set of asthma traps that you may need to watch out for.

Check out the most important summertime asthma triggers–and learn how to avoid them.

Summer Asthma Trigger #1: Humidity

When it’s hot and humid outside, we often feel sticky. This is because high humidity causes our sweat to sit on our skin instead of evaporating away. The same way that moisture-filled air changes the way our skin feels, it can also change the way we breathe.

Humid air (air with a higher moisture content) is heavier. It also holds more asthma-triggering allergens, like mold, fungus, and dust. This makes humid air a trigger for bronchoconstriction, one of the main side effects of an asthma attack. One study done by a children’s hospital showed that for every 10% increase in humidity, there was a quantifiable increase in children admitted to the hospital for asthma-related symptoms.

Generally, air above 50% humidity is most likely to cause asthma symptoms in asthma sufferers.

Summer Asthma Trigger #2: Insects

It may come as a surprise, but many bugs that are common during the summer can cause asthma attacks as well as itchy bites.

Several kinds of bugs find their ways into people’s homes during the summer, setting up shop and spreading allergens that can trigger a variety of allergic reactions, including asthma.

Cockroaches and dust mites, in particular, can cause asthma flare ups. Stink bugs, though less common during the summer, also emit allergens that are suspected to cause asthma symptoms.

Summer Asthma Trigger #3: Campfire Smoke

Many people love to spend time outside during the summer. From nights on the beach to camping in the woods, the weather is ideal for getting out and exploring. 

A toasty campfire can make any night outside more ambient and enjoyable. A warm fire can also help ward off annoying bugs like mosquitoes.

Unfortunately, campfires also produce smoke that irritates asthmatic lungs. Wood smoke–the kind produced from traditional campfires–contains countless numbers of tiny particles that you inhale if you’re near the flames. This can set off a domino effect of bronchoconstriction, wheezing and, sometimes, hospitalization.

If you have asthma, make sure you use untreated wood for your campfires. Make sure the wood is dry before burning. Additionally, you should never burn household garbage or trash from around the campfire. Don’t burn plastic bottles, packages or cardboard containers. Never burn on air alert days–this could exacerbate air quality problems that already exist.

Have more questions about summer asthma triggers and how to take care of yourself? Visit Allergy and Asthma Center today!

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