How To Keep Asthma Symptoms Under Control During The Summer

If you have asthma, summer fun might be synonymous with wheezing, coughing, and struggling to breathe. Instead of enjoying a day at the beach or a backyard barbecue, you might be preoccupied with making sure your rescue inhaler is on hand. Luckily, there are some ways you can try to keep your asthma symptoms from getting out of hand during the summer months.

Asthma is a condition that can make it difficult to breathe due to constricted airways and excess mucus (via Mayo Clinic). Anyone can get asthma, but it's usually caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, trouble sleeping, and coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus. You might be more likely to develop asthma if you have a relative who also has it, smoke, have been exposed to secondhand smoke, are overweight, or have another allergic condition, such as hay fever. Proper treatment is important for minimizing the likelihood of complications, like permanent narrowing of the bronchial tubes, or emergency room visits and hospitalizations for severe asthma attacks. Sometimes, environmental factors like airborne allergens can make asthma symptoms worse.

Summer can make asthma worse for some

Summertime can be hard for those with asthma because of the rise in temperature and increase in air pollutants, according to Healthline. Pollen counts are usually higher and humidity typically increases, which can make already-sensitive airways even more irritated. This means it can feel harder to breathe in the summer than in cooler months.

While there's not an easy answer for preventing all asthma symptoms, there are some things you can do to minimize the impact on your health. Dr. Zab Mosenifar, medical director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute at Cedars-Sinai, told Healthline that it's wise to stay indoors as much as possible, especially when you're working out. While this isn't feasible all summer, he recommended that later in the day might be a better time to go out, and wearing a mask is always a good idea. Smoking is also particularly bad for those with asthma year-round. Make sure you have your inhalers on hand, but be careful not to overuse a rescue inhaler, as it can cause tachycardia, a heart condition.