Sweltering summer heat can be harmful for people with asthma as hot air can tighten airways and make them narrow which could lead to difficult breathing. During summer, the stagnant air can trap pollutants and dust which can lead to exacerbation of asthma symptoms. Due to the same reason, air pollution levels could also be high during summer season which can make things tough for asthma patients. It is important to stay indoors if you have asthma and step out only if the quality of air is safe. In case, you are stepping out for some work, one should take bath to wash off any pollen off the skin or hair. (Also read: Health expert on the best treatments for asthma)
“Summer can be a difficult time for people who are asthmatic. The hot wind and long summer days can cause symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath in patients. Asthma is a disease that cannot be cured and need to be managed with the help of medications, lifestyle management, and by avoiding triggers that can cause an asthma attack,” says Dr Hitesh Gour, Consultant- Pulmonology, Manipal Hospital Patiala.
SUMMER TRIGGERS FOR PEOPLE WITH ASTHMA
Here is a list of summer triggers that must be avoided by an asthmatic, explained by Dr Gour.
1. High humidity: Air that is heavy, stagnant, and full of moisture can make breathing a challenge for asthma patients. They may feel their chest tighten and breathing becoming shallow.
2. Air pollution: Inhaling air pollutants can be dangerous for all people. Especially for asthmatic patients, exposure to pollutants can rapidly cause damage to lung function and trigger asthma attacks.
3. Pollen: Summer can expose one with different pollen and allergies. These can trigger symptoms of asthma and one may develop hay fever which can make the symptoms even worse to manage.
4. Insect bites and stings: Insect bites can cause allergic reactions that can trigger asthma symptoms.
5. Exercise-induced asthma: With the help of medications and the right precautions, exercising can be very beneficial for asthma patients. But the chances of undergoing an exercised-induced asthma attack increase in the summer season due to the weather.
“Managing asthma can be challenging, especially during the summer season when the risk of an attack increases. In this case, the patient can seek the help of a medical expert to create a personalised action plan that considers the general risk factors and individual condition of the patient. Other than that, people should take general precautions for extra precaution such as wearing a mask outdoors, always staying hydrated, and carrying their medication with them,” concludes Dr Gour.