Pulmonologists say keeping track of environmental triggers can help asthmatics better manage their condition.
There are various environment-related factors that can induce flare ups for the over 2.5 million asthma sufferers in the tri-state area, according to health experts. This includes conditions like humidity, the presence of smoke, mold and pollen in the air.
Dr. Laurie Manka, of National Jewish Health, says summer storms can also create asthma triggers.
“The moisture and the electricity of these thunderstorms break these pollens and other particulates into smaller pieces that come back down and can be blown for long distances,” she said.
As those particles become smaller, they grow easier to inhale and wreak havoc on one’s bronchial tubes and lungs.
Doctors say is important to have a plan for potential flare ups. Asthma sufferers should always have a rescue inhaler and pay attention if they are experiencing symptoms like coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, sinus congestion or wheezing.
If airways become narrow and create difficulty breathing, Manka says it is important to seek medical care.
Prior to leaving home, asthmatics should check the pollen count and visit Airnow.gov to see the air quality index. With the help of the hourly data, asthma sufferers can decide if they need to limit time outdoors. Doctors also say remaining indoors with air conditioning can bring relief to the lungs.