Springtime is just around the corner, and for anyone who suffers from asthma, the arrival of warmer weather can bring a host of symptoms and challenges. From sneezing and wheezing to chest tightness and difficulty breathing, spring asthma can get in the way of enjoying the season.
You may be wondering if your symptoms are caused by allergies or asthma, or if allergies are actually leading to asthma. We’ll explore the answer to these questions and give you the information you need to start alleviating your symptoms.
Can Spring Allergies Cause Asthma?
It is possible for both allergies and asthma to happen at the same time, and in many cases, allergies can trigger symptoms of asthma. However, it’s important to note that not everyone who suffers from spring allergies will experience asthma, and not all asthma cases are linked to allergies.
If you’re someone who deals with allergies (no matter what the season), your immune system responds to an allergen as if it's an unwanted trespasser. In order to fight the invader off, your immune system produces an antibody known as immunoglobulin E or IgE.
It’s the combination of IgE and the allergen that lead to the creation of histamine — a substance designed to protect the body. Histamine is what results in common allergy symptoms like itchy eyes, runny nose, sore throat, itchy skin, etc. It can also bring on asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
What Is Seasonal Asthma?
Seasonal asthma refers to asthma symptoms that occur during certain times of the year, usually in response to seasonal allergens such as pollen from trees, grass, or weeds.
People with seasonal asthma may experience symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness when exposed to these allergens. These symptoms can be more severe during certain seasons, such as spring or fall when the levels of allergens in the air are highest.
It's important for individuals with seasonal asthma to work with their healthcare provider to develop a management plan, which may include avoiding known triggers, taking preventive medications, and carrying quick-relief inhalers for sudden symptoms.
At CareNow®, we have more than 175 locations throughout the US, and our qualified medical providers are available after hours and on the weekend, so you can get seen where and when it’s most convenient for you.
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Is Asthma Worse in the Spring?
If you’re someone who suffers from asthma, you may notice your symptoms get worse during the spring months. This is typically a result of poor air quality paired with pollen and grass.
With nicer weather, many people also spend more time outdoors during the spring months as well, which can cause a flare-up of asthma symptoms. Fortunately, with the right asthma treatment plan in place, you can alleviate your symptoms and enjoy the beautiful spring months.
Can Allergies Make Asthma Worse?
Long story short, yes, allergies can worsen the effects of asthma. If you suffer from asthma, you should work with a medical provider or allergist to determine what’s causing the issues for you.
Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you will experience asthma symptoms, but it is a good idea for you and your doctor to seek any potential connections between the two.
One of the best ways to control your asthma, especially during the high-allergy months, is to limit your exposure to potential allergens. It’s not always possible to completely limit your exposure, in which case you should talk to your medical provider about medications or an allergy shot.
Can You Treat Asthma Triggered By Allergies?
The first thing you should do if you develop spring asthma is to see a medical provider. They will give you a proper diagnosis and arm you with the tools you need to get through the spring months with fewer symptoms.
If your asthma is made worse by allergies, it’s best to treat both your allergies and your asthma symptoms. In most cases, a medical provider will prescribe an asthma control medication as well as a quick-relief medicine in case of an attack.
These medications can be available both as separate medications or a combined prescription. Inhalers are a popular tool for those with asthma that allow for the inhalation of the medication. Some individuals opt for an alternate device, called a nebulizer, to administer their asthma medications.
Allergy medication can also help reduce triggers. These may include nasal corticosteroid sprays, decongestants, and antihistamines. Some allergy sufferers see success in treatment plans that train their bodies to tolerate allergens better, called allergy immunotherapy. Ask your provider if this treatment may be right for you.
How to Alleviate Spring Asthma Symptoms
Keeping your home clean and free from dust and mold is another important step in keeping your asthma symptoms at bay. Set reminders in your calendar to do a deep clean at least once a month — your lungs will thank you.
On days when you notice your asthma is worse, a steam bath can offer some relief by relieving nasal congestion and clearing your airway. It will also work to break up the mucus that’s accumulated due to tight muscles around the airways. You should be cautious, however, as heat can potentially trigger asthmatics.
Finally, moldy leaves, damp firewood, and weeds that tend to pile up throughout the fall and winter months can leave your yard as a trigger for your asthma. By keeping your grass short and your leaves picked up, you can reduce your yard’s impact on your symptoms. If you’re sensitive to outdoor allergens, a mask can be helpful.
Don’t suffer all spring with symptoms of allergies. Use the CareNow® Web Check-In® feature and visit with one of our medical providers today. We also welcome walk-ins if you’re unable to check in online.
At CareNow®, you get the quality and care you want with the convenience you need. We are ecstatic to have been honored with the distinguished designation of Accredited Urgent Care Center by the Urgent Care Association (UCA), a testament to our unwavering commitment to providing exceptional care to our patients.