Autumn means pumpkins, colorful leaves and, for some, worries about asthma. You can blame these worries on seasonal asthma triggers that are in the air and environment, along with falling temperatures.
You can thrive during this season by avoiding asthma triggers and following your asthma action plan. Here are tips for lessening the impact of fall asthma triggers:
Ragweed pollen. Fall is the peak season for this allergen, which is especially thick in the early morning air. Keep windows closed in the morning to prevent pollen from blowing inside. Limit outside activity during early morning hours. If you are outside when pollen counts are high, shower afterward to rinse away pollen that may cling to your hair and skin. Don’t hang linens or clothes outside to dry.
Temperature swings. Autumn days begin and end cool, but warm up midday. These temperature swings have been known to trigger asthma. When you are outside in the cold, wear a scarf that covers your mouth and nose to help warm the air as you inhale.
Mold. Decaying leaves are a prime spot for mold to grow. If mold is one of your triggers, avoid walking through leaf piles, and ask somebody who is not allergic to handle the raking.
Viruses. Colds and the flu, which occur more commonly in the fall and winter than in the warmer months, can trigger asthma, so ask your health care provider about getting an annual flu shot, and stay away from those who are sick. Wash your hands often.