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Can the Weather Affect My Asthma?

Medically reviewed by: Abigail Strang, MD

In some kids with asthma, the weather can make their symptoms worse. Let's find out how.

How Can Weather Affect Asthma?

A change of seasons, a storm, or a sudden change in weather can make it harder to breathe or cause a flare-up.

Here's how weather can make asthma symptoms worse:

  • Cold, dry air can be an asthma trigger. This trigger may be more troublesome for people who play winter sports and who have asthma symptoms when they exercise.
  • Hot, humid air can trigger asthma symptoms. In some places, heat and sunlight combine with pollutants to create ground-level ozone. This kind of ozone (say: OH-zone) can be a strong asthma trigger. So can smoky air from a wildfire.
  • Wet or windy weather can cause flare-ups. Many people with asthma have symptoms during thunderstorms.

Your health care provider can help you figure out if weather is making your asthma symptoms worse. This information can go into your asthma action plan.

How Can I Avoid Weather Triggers?

Once you know what your weather triggers are, it's important to avoid them:

  • Watch the forecast for pollen and mold counts, and for weather that might affect your asthma. (An adult can help you do this.)
  • Stay indoors on days when your triggers are strongest.
  • If cold air is a trigger, consider covering your mouth and nose with a loose scarf in very cold weather.
  • Keep your windows closed at night. If it's hot, use air conditioning, which cleans, cools, and dries the air.
  • Keep your quick-relief medicine (also called rescue or fast-acting medicine) with you all the time — even when you're feeling fine!
Medically reviewed by: Abigail Strang, MD
Date reviewed: June 2023