3 Asthma Warning Signs to Monitor this Summer

Summer solstice doesn't occur until June 21, but that doesn't mean it's too soon to prepare for the season's effects upon people with asthma. In fact, studies have shown that rising temperatures due to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are creating longer and more intense allergy seasons, with prolonged and increased pollen production.

Asthma affects about one in 13 people living in the United States, including more than 6 million children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is the most common childhood disease, can start at any age and the rate of asthma nearly tripled between 1980 and 2010. That's why the American Lung Association encourages everyone to celebrate Asthma Awareness Month this May.

"As the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health, we think it's crucial for people with asthma to know as much as they can about the disease," said American Lung Association Volunteer Medical Spokesperson David G. Hill, M.D. "This includes the fact that changing seasons have a major impact upon asthma. Being prepared for the summer and understanding warning signs can help prevent serious complications."

The change in seasons can bring on an asthma episode due to increased pollen in the air. Extreme temperatures, that begin around this time of the year, along with associated ozone and particle pollution can trigger asthma symptoms.

While there is no cure for asthma, this chronic lung disease can be controlled and managed, allowing a person with asthma to lead an active and healthy life. Key warning signs that an adult or child's asthma may not be in control include:

  1. Needing to use a quick-relief inhaler more than two times per week.
  2. Waking at night with asthma symptoms more than two times per month.
  3. Having to refill a quick-relief inhaler more than two times per year.

If you answered yes to any of those questions, see your healthcare provider to better manage asthma symptoms, such as reducing exposure to asthma triggers.

The Lung Association also offers a free, online learning course at Lung.org/asthmabasics that covers asthma triggers, how to identify and reduce them, action plans for flare-ups, how to respond to a breathing emergency, asthma medication tutorials and an asthma management plan template. This online course is ideal for everyone from healthcare professionals and school nurses to parents, those suffering from asthma themselves and even co-workers and friends. 

For more information on these resources and more, please visit Lung.org/asthmabasics or call the American Lung Association Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Cook
[email protected]

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