Spring & Your Health: Spring Asthma
Like seasonal allergies, asthma can flare up in the spring. Common triggers are pollen, air temperature changes, yard fertilizers, and insect repellants.
Potential indoor triggers result from spring cleanings, such as dust and cleaning chemicals.
Tree & grass pollens in the spring cause airway inflammation and worsen underlying asthma.
There is a marked increase in asthma-related emergency room visits this time of year. Talk to your doctor before spring to make sure you have a plan in place before symptoms begin.
Here are a few tips to get your spring asthma under control:
1. Refill your asthma medications in preparation for spring. Be sure to have a rescue inhaler on hand. Reducing airway inflammation with the use of a maintenance medication usually an inhaled steroid.
If you need to use your rescue inhaler twice a week or more, see your doctor for a more effective preventive medicine.
2. Avoid the outdoors when pollen levels are high, usually between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
3. After being outside, take a shower and wash your clothes and hair to reduce the allergens on your body.
4.In your home and your car, use air conditioning instead of open windows. Set your unit to recirculate so it doesn’t bring in air from outside. Add a High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter(HEPA) to remove circulating allergens.
5. Do most of your working out indoors. If you exercise outside, take your asthma medications before you go.
6. start preventive allergy and asthma medications about 2 weeks prior to the season. They can make asthma attacks less severe.
-Remember to use your peak flow meter to check your asthma control. You can buy a meter at your local pharmacy or drug store.
-If you still are having a lot of flare-ups, talk to your doctor or allergist about immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or oral tablets.
Dr. Mahesh Ochaney is a solo practitioner who has been practicing Internal Medicine since 1991. Dr. Ochaney’s compassionate primary care has been recognized several times over the years, including being named a 2018 Top Doctor by Baltimore Magazine and receiving a State of Maryland Governor’s Citation.