The arrival of autumn brings cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and trick or treating on Halloween. But do you also associate this time of year with a worsening of your asthma symptoms? Some asthmatics find that the changing weather typical of fall and early winter can be enough to trigger their condition.

The Fall Asthma Link

While you might assume that your asthma would be worst during the spring and summer months when your allergies peak, in reality the dropping autumn temperatures may provoke your asthma to be more severe at this transitional time of year.

There are several reasons why asthma occurs in the fall. One explanation is that the colder air can cause your sensitive airways to react. In addition, this time of year means spending more time indoors and sharing space with other potential asthma triggers, such as hairspray, perfume, dust mites and animal dander. Add to that circulating cold and flu germs, which can worsen your asthma symptoms and lead to other respiratory complications including bronchitis and pneumonia.

Recognize the Cause

The best way to prevent asthma throughout the fall, as well as all year long, is to understand what triggers your symptoms. This can vary from individual to individual. In fact, exercising in the colder air could be the cause for one person, while dust mites could be the culprit for someone else. Therefore, it can take trial and error to narrow in on the specific dynamics of your illness.

Once you identify what sets off your airways, though, you can make strategic changes to better manage your environment and head off the reaction for once and for all.

Easy Changes to Implement

Preventing asthma can be anything from wearing a scarf over your mouth outdoors to moving your morning jog to an indoor track with filtered air. Just realize that in order for these steps to be effective, you will need to fully understand the source or sources of your triggers.  Further, if you aren't sure what factors could be to blame, an allergist can be helpful.

Avoid Germs

Regardless of what triggers your symptoms, you will want to make an effort to avoid germs at all costs. Therefore, you should steer clear of people who are ill and wash your hands frequently. Other musts include making sure you are getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet, too, in order to keep your immune system functioning at its best.  

Take Control

Finally, make sure to take your asthma medications as directed to control your condition and keep your symptoms from kicking in. You could be tempted to skip a dose when you are feeling well, but remember that prevention is essential to keeping asthma well managed -- not just when your symptoms are present but also through the season and all year long.


American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)