Flowers are blooming. Trees are budding. It’s finally springtime; well, it is in the parts of the country that still respect and adhere to the seasonal calendar.
For many, spring is an exciting time of the year as it brings warmer weather and prepares us for summer. But for those suffering from asthma, spring, its pollen and other allergens can be dangerous.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 3 million African Americans were living with asthma in 2012. In fact, Blacks are 20 percent more likely to have asthma than any other race.
Asthma isn’t something to play with. An asthma attack can be fatal.
Here are a few things to be aware of that can trigger a springtime asthma attack:
Trees and grass
Trees and grass produce pollen as they begin to bloom in April. This may result in high pollen counts in the air, which can seriously affect your asthma. Weeds and ragweed are other plants that may trigger your asthma symptoms and make you miserable.
Campfires are fun, and a good way to eat a tasty S’more. But, the smoke may not sit so well for someone with asthma. Smoke is another trigger for asthma flare-ups. If you are going to be near a campfire, be sure to sit upwind of the smoke. Also, don’t sit too close to the fire.
With spring comes more rain and thunderstorms across the country. Experts say rainwater is the reason why allergens like pollen grains spread like wildfire. During these storms, there are usually high winds. This helps spread the pollen at a quicker rate. So you may struggle breathing or experience other asthma symptoms more during a thunderstorm. Stay indoors if you can.
Not only do some insects carry pollen, which is a natural trigger for asthma symptoms. But, some stinging insects may be fatal for those suffering from asthma. Be aware of any yellow jackets, honeybees, wasps, hornets and fire ants if you’re spending long amounts of time outdoors. Avoid using perfume, as some insects are attracted to the sweet smell.
For some people with asthma, chlorine can be an irritant, triggering a reaction. Talk with your physician if you are experiencing allergic symptoms like eye and nose irritation.
For anyone with asthma, there are phone apps that can help you keep track of pollen in the air and other triggers that can make you feel miserable.