7 Fall Asthma Triggers to Avoid

Asthma is a condition that you live with year-round. Unfortunately, each new season can bring about a variety of triggers that increase your risk for an asthma attack.

At Houston Family MD, family physician Ranjit S. Grewal, MD offers on-site services to both diagnose and manage your asthma. Dr. Grewal works closely with you to develop a plan that keeps your asthma in check, which is especially critical during the change of seasons.

An overview of asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects how you breathe. When you overexert yourself or are exposed to certain triggers, your airways suddenly become inflamed and it’s difficult to take in enough air to function properly. Your body also produces excess mucus which adds to your breathing issues.

In some cases, an asthma attack can be severe enough to cause long-term health consequences and premature death. For this reason, it’s important to follow through with your preventive asthma treatments and have an emergency plan in the event of an unexpected asthma attack. You also need to avoid your asthma triggers as much as possible.

As summer is now transitioning to fall, it’s important to become aware of hidden triggers that can lead to an asthma attack. Some triggers associated with fall that can have an impact on your breathing include:

1.Pests

As the cooler weather approaches, insects, mice, and other pests look for warm places to hide in and around your house. This increase in pests can trigger an allergic reaction that causes an asthma attack.

Be sure to seal up any cracks or holes around your foundation and don’t store food or trash out in the open. Avoid spraying chemicals around the house yourself because they can also trigger an asthma event. Instead, work with a pest control company to prevent an infestation without exposing yourself to hazardous sprays and foggers.

2. Pollen

The cooler weather is often a prime opportunity to get outdoor work done. However, if you’re prone to allergies and asthma, it’s best to stay inside until later afternoon when pollen counts are lower.

You can also monitor the pollen forecast on a weather app to determine the best times of day for you to be outside.

3. Mold

As the leaves fall from the trees and settle on the ground, they can become moldy. Your home may also promote mold growth if you have a leaky faucet or your indoor humidity level is too high.

Limit your time outdoors and use a dehumidifier in your home to lower the humidity. Clean any mold off walls and other surfaces using a scrub brush and detergent.

4. Dust mites

Dust mites live in your home and are most often found in your carpets and bedding. As you begin closing up the windows and doors as the fall air gets cooler, your increased exposure to the dust mites can trigger an asthma attack.

Make a point to wash your bedding weekly and use a HEPA filter vacuum to minimize your exposure to dust and other asthma-triggering irritants.

5. Animal dander

Cooler fall weather may force you inside for longer periods of time. If you have pets or unwelcomed pests, this contact can trigger an asthma attack.

Be sure to bathe your pets often and vacuum frequently. You should also consider not allowing your dog or cat to sleep in your room at night to reduce your risk for an asthma attack.

6. Upper respiratory infection

Fall is the start of the flu season. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic is still a concern for those who have chronic asthma. When you get sick with bacterial or viral upper respiratory infection, it can trigger asthma attacks.

It’s more important than ever that you follow good hygiene practices by washing your hands with soap and water often and you stay away from others who are sick or may have been exposed to the flu or the coronavirus.

7. Physical activity

Physical activity is a cause of asthma attacks all year long. But as more people head out to enjoy the cooler fall weather, they often overdo it and end up experiencing an asthma attack.

While outdoor exercise is good for the body and the mind, it’s important that you realize your limits and don’t overexert yourself. You also need to be aware of the other asthma risk factors you're encountering outdoors, such as pollen, mold, and other environmental allergies that can worsen an asthma attack.

If you need help managing asthma, schedule an appointment by calling Houston Family MD or by requesting an appointment through the online booking system today.

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