Just as we are getting over our spring allergies and breathing normally again, here comes summer in all her glory. Avoiding asthma triggers might be easy to say, but let’s get real. It’s pretty hard to avoid things like grass all summer.
If you prefer not to stay locked up for the next several months, here are some common summer asthma triggers to avoid, and what to do if you can’t.
Avoid Stinging Insects
Bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants are not your friends. If you are going to be outside, at least cover up bare arms and legs when you can, ditch strong perfume, and don’t eat sweet treats outside. Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing or sipping an open can of soft drinks as these things will surely attract those nasty flying insects.
See Davidson Family Medicine, be sure to have epinephrine with you, or get regular allergy shots to avoid a serious problem from an insect’s sting.
Avoid Certain Summer Fruits and Vegetables
Yes, it’s true. Some summertime treats will trigger an asthma attack. Melons, peaches, apples, and celery are just a few that include all the same substances as pollen. You will know you’re reacting to a fruit or vegetable if you get an itchy mouth or tingling lips after eating it.
Thankfully, the solution to this problem is rather simple: just don’t eat the fruits or vegetables that you have a known reaction to and you’ll be safe!
Avoid Changes in the Weather
If you live in certain areas of the country, the weather can change in a minute. Some asthma sufferers can get an attack with a temperature or humidity change. Wind and warm air can spread pollen everywhere as a weather front moves in or out.
See Davidson Family Medicine, to develop a plan to prevent a weather change asthma attack. Keep an eye out for weather changes heading your way so you can be ready should an asthma attack strike.
Avoid Smoke from Campfires and Barbecues
Smoke can trigger one heck of an attack if you are susceptible, and it will take all the fun out of making s’mores!
Smoke is a common trigger, so sit upwind of the fire and be sure not to get too close.
Don’t dismay that you can never go to a pool again. The smell of chlorine from both pools and hot tube can irritate both your eyes and nose when you have asthma.
Never go to indoor pools where the smell has nowhere to go, and seek out saltwater pools to get away from all the added chemicals that may easily trigger an asthma attack.
Avoid Air Pollution
This is another “easier said than done” supposition if you live in a big city. This is practically impossible during the summer with hot air, sunlight, and chemical pollutants constantly working in tandem with one another.
Always check the air quality on a daily basis and stay home if you must.
Avoid Pollen and Mold
The hot summer brings on mold with its recurring thunderstorms and warm air, and there are many flowering plants that continue to spread pollen long after spring has ended.
Be sure to empty any containers left outside to prevent mold from developing (or mosquitoes from breeding). Use your antihistamine, asthma medications, and as a last resort, stay inside.
See Davidson Family Medicine if your asthma becomes more problematic this summer.