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Tips for Managing Asthma in the Summer

Tips for Managing Asthma in the Summer

It’s no secret that the hot season of summer can be a challenge for people with asthma. This is because the added heat, allergens, environmental irritants, and more can aggravate your airways, making it harder to breathe and triggering attacks.

At The Beverly Hills Lung and Sleep Institute in Southern California, we’re board-certified pulmonary specialists that help patients manage their asthma symptoms during the hot summer months and all year round.

If you’re worried about worsening asthma symptoms this summer, keep reading to learn our top tips for what you can do to keep your asthma under control.

1. Keep cool

Here in Southern California, summer temperatures can soar. Since your body attempts to stay cool by using more oxygen, overheating can trigger an asthma attack or make you feel like you’re out of breath.

To avoid heat-related asthma attacks, try to keep as cool as possible. This can mean not going outside for long stretches during the hottest parts of the day (10 a.m.-4 p.m.).

Instead, stay cool by seeking out air-conditioned indoor spaces or areas with fans during these peak hours. And if you do spend time outdoors on hot days, seek shade whenever possible, and use a fan or other cooling device. 

2. Stay away from smoke

From barbecues to beach fires and fireworks to wildfires, there’s no shortage of smoke exposure during Southern California summers. All types of smoke carry microscopic particles you can inhale, and for people with asthma, this can cause an attack. 

You can keep asthma attacks to a minimum if you take steps to avoid summer smoke, such as watching fireworks from a distance. If you can’t fully avoid smoke, sit or stand upwind if you can so that any smoke blows away from you, or wear a face mask that filters smoke particles. 

3. Drink lots of water

Staying hydrated is a crucial factor in keeping asthma symptoms in check. This is because water thins mucus, helping your airways stay clear. And if allergies affect your asthma, staying hydrated helps since your body makes more histamine when you’re dehydrated. 

Because you sweat more to keep cool in the summer, your body loses more water than it does in the cooler seasons. Combat this by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and snacking on foods with high water content, like daikon radish, cucumbers, jicama, or watermelon.

4. Be sure to plan ahead

At The Beverly Hills Lung and Sleep Institute, we work with you to create a personalized asthma action plan. You can manage your asthma and stay ahead of summer flare-ups by following it — including taking all preventive measures. 

For example, if your asthma gets worse in the summer because of summer allergies, take any asthma medications, antihistamines, or decongestants as directed. Plan ahead, and avoid triggers whenever you can.

You can also keep an eye on the weather and pollen count. On days with heat warnings or very high pollen counts, plan to limit your time outside if you can. And always be sure your rescue inhaler is on you or nearby at all times. 

5. Talk to your asthma specialist

If you’ve noticed your asthma symptoms tend to get worse during the summer, talking to your asthma specialist is a key step in managing your condition. Here at The Beverly Hills Lung and Sleep Institute, we specialize in helping patients live full, healthy lives with asthma while minimizing attacks and flare-ups. 

Since everyone experiences asthma differently, no two asthma treatment plans are the same. We create a personalized asthma treatment plan based on your medical history, asthma history, known triggers, and lifestyle.

We also make changes and adjustments to your plan if your symptoms change with the seasons. For example, if your asthma worsens during the hot, dry season, we may recommend using a humidifier at night or other tips to help you stay healthy in the summer months.

For personalized help managing summer asthma, schedule an appointment online or over the phone with our friendly office staff at The Beverly Hills Lung and Sleep Institute today. 

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