Why Do Asthma Symptoms Vary With the Weather Changes?
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a breathing disorder that affects the lungs. The symptoms of asthma may vary from one person to another and asthma ranges from mild to severe. In some patients, any particular situation may lead to asthma attacks, excess production of sputum and flare-ups. Some of the common symptoms of asthma include: chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. Not all patients report the same symptoms. Symptoms of asthma also depend on the level of disease. Asthma, when it becomes acute, has symptoms that are different when compared to the ones seen in the initial stages of asthma.
Why Do Asthma Symptoms Vary With The Weather Changes?
Weather is the main cause that leads to the change in symptoms. For example, some people find severe symptoms during the winter season, while some others experience it in the spring season. It depends on how severe Asthma is and the level of the disease. This is why asthma symptoms vary with weather changes. Let us see some of the changes in asthma symptoms during different seasons.
Asthma Symptoms in Fall Season:
During this season, the cold air tightens up the asthmatic's lungs. The reason for changes in asthma symptoms during the fall season is cool weather conditions. The asthma patients go through a lot of difficulties in the fall season, as they need to deal with the cold and flu that comes in package. The cold and flu viruses spread largely in the fall season, and hence the entire weather situation adversely affects the asthma patients.
The respiratory tract infections worsen the chronic lung infection of asthma and this will lead to asthma attacks, which consist of coughing, wheezing and difficulty in breathing. The weather in this season may bring dust and when an asthma patient inhales the dust-filled air, then this affects the breathing and worsens the asthma.
Asthma Symptoms in Winter Season
The asthma symptoms peak during the fall time, however, different seasons leave different impact on various asthma patients. Winter is found to be a problematic phase for a lot of patients with asthma. The dry and cold air of winter can make asthma worse, particularly the morning hours, when people usually engage in exercising. The major reason for wheezing in the winter season is the cold and dry air.
Some asthma patients will experience variation in their symptoms even when walking around outside in the cold weather during the winter season. Teens, particularly, with asthma suffer a lot during the winter season. To get rid of the symptoms of asthma in winter, patient should wear a scarf around the face to help feel warmer. Using an inhaled bronchodilator for 15 to 20 minutes before exercising or going outside in the cold weather can also help offset the effects of cold air on asthma.
Asthma Symptoms in Spring Season
Spring season could rightfully be called as the pollen season; and pollen is an effective allergen for people suffering from asthma. Pollen, especially, when inhaled can inflame airways and will lead to asthma attacks. The high pollen counts will result in an increase in asthma. It is an important seasonal cause for increasing asthma; but, unlike winter problems, pollen concentrations can be predicted easily. The pollen counts are high at the time of 4 a.m. to 10 a.m., so it is better to avoid being outdoors during these particular hours of the day.
This season is a one-two hit. This is because, during this season, trees and grasses release pollens. So, when you are recovering from tree pollens the grass pollens will attack. It may cause symptoms like sneezing, itching and running nose which are the symptoms of asthma and not cold or flu. A study on asthma and immunology suggests that the changes in weather such as in humidity and temperature are an important reason for asthma exacerbation. It also suggests that a 10% change in the humidity and a 10-degree increase in temperature will lead to an uptick in asthma symptoms.
Asthma Symptoms in Summer Season
Unlike the seasons discussed above, the summer season provides a relief for asthma patients. Even though relief is found in the summer season, there are still a few changes in the symptoms noticed during this weather. The excess heat during this season and the change in the humidity may affect the patients adversely. The weather in the summer season combined with the pollutants and poor quality of air leads to intensification of asthma symptoms. The sunlight and traffic-related pollution can also be a trigger to asthma. The humid air of the summer season and the increased pollution matters are an alarming sign to the asthma patients.
Asthma Symptoms in Rainy Season
Rainy season, for a lot of asthma patients, isn't observed to be good enough, reason being the presence of too much moisture, fungal spores, increased amount of molds and even pollens. All these factors lead to an increase in asthma symptoms. Also, in this season there is an increase in the viral infection. This is a factor that worsens the problematic condition for asthma patients.
Rains are the seasons of cold and flu, which triggers the symptoms commonly seen in asthma such as difficulty in breathing, wheezing and coughing. Doctors consider the viral infections and the change in the temperature during rainy season as the major cause for the rise in asthma.
Different asthma patients react differently to the changes in the weather, and hence the asthma symptoms vary with the change in weather/season. Depending on how your body reacts to the changes in weather, you need to be prepared to face the consecutive effects of the changes in season on your asthma.