Asthma flare-ups can be triggered by several different environmental causes. Both indoors and outdoors, air temperature and humidity are important factors to keep in mind. Those who suffer from asthma should keep their rooms at a comfortable, moderate temperature with low humidity.
Asthma attacks can be triggered by high or low humidity. You may, however, reduce your risk when indoors by making a few alterations to your surroundings.
Continue reading to discover the ideal room temperature for those with asthma, as well as tips on reducing asthma triggers in the home.
How Does Air Temperature Affect Asthma?
When the temperature drops, you may find that your asthma symptoms get worse. This is because cooler air can dry up the tissues in your airway, making them more sensitive and liable to stop up.
When the ambient temperature changes, our bodies can adapt to the new conditions. Cold air can trigger asthma symptoms in some persons who are more sensitive to temperature fluctuations and have a higher reaction. The good news is that if your asthma is well controlled, it is less likely to be triggered by cold weather.
Both extremely hot temperatures combined with a high humidity level and extremely cold temperatures might make asthma symptoms worse. As a result, conditions of low humidity and moderate temperatures are advised.
Best Room Temperature for Asthma
Asthma can be made worse by sudden changes in temperature. Whether it’s too hot or too cold doesn’t matter. If it’s too far from the happy medium, you may start to feel worse.
Since asthma is different for each person, it’s hard to come up with a single no-go zone for the thermostat. If your asthma isn’t too bad, small temperature changes probably won’t be a big deal. But if your asthma is more severe, paying close attention to the temperature in the room can be an important part of taking care of it.
A small study done in 2012 found that people with asthma are safest between 68 and 71°F (20 and 21.6°C). That makes sense because “room temperature” is between 68°F and 72°F (20°C and 22°C).
Best Humidity for Asthma
Humidity doesn’t seem as important, but you should still think about it. As a general rule, levels of humidity in the air or below 30% to 50% could be an asthma trigger. What else makes humidity important? Dust mites and mold can grow in places with a lot of humidity. (These two things are major asthma triggers.)
How to Protect Yourself From Weather Conditions That Affect Asthma?
When your asthma is affected by weather changes you need to know how to tackle this. These tips will help:
- Take your preventer inhaler to reduce symptoms.
- Always carry your relief inhaler so you’re prepared for symptoms.
- Use a written asthma action plan to know what to do if cold weather triggers symptoms.
- Check your asthma with your doctor regularly. This will help you get the proper medicine and spot indicators of a winter asthma attack.
- Wrap a scarf across your nose and mouth. This prevents asthma-triggering cold air shocks to your airways.
- If you can, breathe in through your nose instead of your mouth to warm the air.
- Take your preventer inhaler to avoid symptoms. Always carry your relief inhaler so you’re prepared for symptoms.
- Write down what to do if hot weather induces asthma symptoms.
- Get regular asthma checks to make sure you’re on the right meds and using your inhalers properly.
- If you’re taking your reliever inhaler three times a week or the hot weather has made your symptoms worse, see your doctor or asthma nurse.
- Inhalers perform best when kept cool and out of direct sunlight. When it’s hot, store your reliever in a cool bag.
- Pollen forecasts can help you determine when to take antihistamines for hay fever and asthma.
- Exercise should be done early in the day when the air is cleaner.
How to Make Your Home Asthma Friendly?
With the right tools, it’s much easier to keep your rooms at these temperatures.
Using an Exhaust Fan
This helps keep the humidity low when you take a shower. If you don’t have one of these, try opening a window to get the air flowing.
If you don’t have one of these, try opening a window to get the air flowing.
Using a Humidifier/Dehumidifier
A humidifier keeps the air from being too dry if you live in a dry place. You need a dehumidifier if you live in a damp, humid place. If high humidity levels make your asthma worse, having both can help you stay calm.
Install a Cooling System
Most homes in the United States have air conditioning. Whether it’s a window unit or central air, this lets you control the temperature of your home with the press of a button.
When to See a Doctor?
Do you wheeze, feel short of breath, or have tightness in your chest? Talk to your doctor about your symptoms if you haven’t been diagnosed with asthma but think you might have it.
Watch out for any of these signs. Tell your doctor right away if:
- Using your inhaler more often, especially if this is sudden.
- Symptoms get worse after taking medicine.
- You have a persistent cough that gets worse over time.
- You are having trouble breathing after doing everyday things like cooking dinner or folding laundry.
- Developing a new wheezing sound.
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The ideal air temperature for asthmatics is 68 to 71 °F (20 to 21.6 °C) with 30% to 50% humidity. Indoor air quality can be managed with AC and extractor fans.
Extreme weather can aggravate asthma, but you can protect yourself. Consult your doctor if you have new or worsening asthma symptoms. They can give you specialized health recommendations.
- Hayes D Jr, Collins PB, Khosravi M, Lin RL, Lee LY. Bronchoconstriction triggered by breathing hot humid air in patients with asthma: role of cholinergic reflex. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Jun 1;185(11):1190-6. Available from: 10.1164/rccm.201201-0088OC
- Elizabeth Shimer Bowers (2014). 6 Signs Your Asthma Is Worsening. Everyday Health. Available from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/asthma-management/signs-your-asthma-is-worsening/
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