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Can the Weather Affect My Asthma?

There's a connection between asthma and weather. Some people find their asthma gets worse at certain times of the year. For others, a storm or sudden weather change may cause a flare-up.

Cold, dry air can be an asthma trigger, especially for people who do winter sports and who have asthma symptoms when they exercise. Hot, humid air can also trigger asthma symptoms. In some areas, heat and sunlight combine with pollution to make ozone (say: OH-zone), which is also an asthma trigger.

Wet or windy weather can both be problems — many people with asthma have symptoms during thunderstorms.

Your doctor can help you figure out if weather is causing some of your asthma symptoms. He or she can put this information into your asthma action plan.

Once you know what your weather or seasonal triggers are, you can take steps to avoid them:

  • Watch the forecast for pollen and mold counts as well as weather that might affect your asthma. (An adult can help you do this.)
  • Stay indoors on days when your triggers are strongest.
  • Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose outside during very cold weather.
  • Keep your windows closed at night. If it's hot, use air conditioning, which cleans, cools, and dries the air.
  • Stay indoors early in the morning (before 10 a.m.) when pollen levels in the air are at their highest.
  • Stay away from freshly cut grass and leaf piles.
  • Keep your rescue medication with you all the time — whether the weather bothers you or not!

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: January 2014