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Can the Weather Affect a Person's Asthma?

Medically reviewed by: Abigail Strang, MD

Can Weather Affect a Person's Asthma?

Yes. In some people with asthma, weather conditions and changes can bring on asthma symptoms or lead to an asthma flare-up. Some kids' asthma symptoms get worse at certain times of the year. For others, a sudden weather change, such as a severe storm, can trigger a flare-up.

  • Cold, dry air is a common asthma trigger and can cause flare-ups. This trigger may be more troublesome for people who play winter sports and have exercise-induced asthma.
  • Hot, humid air also can be a problem. In some places, heat and sunlight combine with pollutants to create ground-level ozone. This kind of ozone can be a strong asthma trigger. So can smoky air from a wildfire.
  • Wet weather and windy weather can cause problems, too. Wet weather encourages the growth of mold, and wind can blow mold and pollen through the air.

If you think weather may be triggering your asthma, work with your doctor to track your symptoms using an asthma symptoms trigger diary. Do you think that your asthma might be triggered by pollen, mold, or other allergens? Ask your doctor about allergy testing.

Weather-Management Tips to Try

If air quality or weather affect you, try these tips to make things better:

  • Watch the weather forecast: Many forecasts give information on pollen counts and other conditions that might affect your asthma.
  • Limit your outdoor activity 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.
  • Close windows to keep pollens and molds out. This can be important at night while you sleep. If it's hot, turn on the air conditioning. Not only is air conditioning cooling, it also dries and even filters the air you breathe.
  • Keep your quick-relief medicine with you at all times.
Medically reviewed by: Abigail Strang, MD
Date reviewed: June 2023