Monsoon and management of asthma: Managing respiratory health during unpredictable weather conditions | Health - Hindustan Times
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Monsoon and management of asthma: Managing respiratory health during unpredictable weather conditions

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jul 10, 2024 05:31 PM IST

Thunderstorm asthma: Understanding monsoon triggers, rainy season health challenges and tips to manage asthma during weather fluctuations

Monsoon season poses unique challenges for individuals with asthma, as weather changes and specific triggers can worsen the symptoms where unforeseen changes in weather, such as sudden rain or storms, can significantly impact individuals with respiratory conditions. These weather fluctuations often lead to shifts in humidity, temperature and air pressure, which can trigger or exacerbate respiratory symptoms.

Monsoon and management of asthma: Managing respiratory health during unpredictable weather conditions (Image by Freepik)
Monsoon and management of asthma: Managing respiratory health during unpredictable weather conditions (Image by Freepik)

Coping with Humidity and Storms

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Richa Mittal, Consultant Pulmonary Medicine at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, explained, "From increased pollen and dampness with mold to reduced exposure to sunlight asthmatics are exposed to a host of triggers that can result in, wheezing, bronchospasms, inflammation, and a compromised immune system . In fact, research has shown that extreme monsoon weather conditions, like a thunderstorm, can even instigate the onset of asthma like symptoms in some people giving rise to the term "thunderstorm asthma"."

To manage asthma during this season, Dr Richa Mittal suggested, “It's crucial for asthmatics to, control humidity levels in, keep windows closed during thunderstorms, practice proper hygiene to avoid viral infections, monitor air quality and ensure flu shots are up to date . In addition to these precautions, it's crucial to adhere to the doctor's treatment plan, which may involve inhalation therapy—the cornerstone of asthma treatment. Inhalation therapy delivers medication directly to the lungs, resulting in lower dosages, leading to minimal side effects and rapid relief . With proper management and awareness, asthma can be effectively controlled, empowering individuals to lead fulfilling lives.”

Tips for Asthma Patients to Stay Safe

Bringing his expertise to the same, Dr Ashish Kumar Prakash, Consultant, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Medanta in Gurugram, recommended, “For individuals with conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), exposure to rapid weather changes can bring several challenges, such as increased breathlessness, coughing and wheezing. It's crucial for individuals with respiratory conditions to monitor weather forecasts and take precautionary measures, such as carrying necessary medications, including inhalers, using air purifiers indoors and avoiding outdoor activities during adverse weather conditions. Inhalers are an effective asthma management option and should be readily accessible to people of all age groups. In addition to these precautions, consulting with healthcare providers for personalised advice on managing respiratory symptoms during weather fluctuations is essential to ensure their well-being and respiratory health.”

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