Allergies and asthma? What to know to fight back
This time of year, misery makers can come calling. The air is alive with pollen and mold spores, which can lead to stuffiness, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. And all those airborne allergens can make asthma symptoms worse too.
Get some relief
Controlling both conditions may help you feel better — and have fewer asthma flare-ups. Here are a few timely tips and facts to know.
Play keep-away from allergens
Watch the weather. Dry, warm and windy days tend to be high-pollen times. When possible, save outdoor activities for cool, damp days.
Stay in to work out. Exercise indoors to avoid pollen and outdoor molds.
Get help with yardwork. If you must work outdoors, wear a mask to help keep pollens out of your nose and mouth.
Shut your home and car windows. Use air-conditioning, if possible.
Hit the showers after being outdoors. You’ll help wash allergens away.
Talk with your doctor
Take action. It’s important to create an asthma action plan with your doctor. Ask whether your plan should be adjusted for allergy season.
Mind your medicines
Asthma. If you use a daily controller medication, take it as directed. Keep your rescue inhaler handy to treat any flare-ups.
Allergies. Over-the-counter or other allergy treatments may ease or prevent bothersome symptoms. Talk with your doctor about what may be best for you.1
Know common triggers
Pollen by the season — the biggest culprits:
- Spring: trees
- Late spring/summer: grasses
- Summer/fall: weeds, other late-blooming plants
The fungus among us. Outdoor mold spores tend to increase with rising temperatures — and float in the air like pollen.
In warm climates, pollen and mold can be a year-round problem.
That’s irritating! Besides allergens, other things might bother your lungs — and make asthma worse — including smoggy, smoky or cold air. Get air-quality forecasts
What to do next
Be ready for your next doctor visit. If you have asthma, this handy checklist has good questions to ask. It can help you and your doctor develop an action plan.
- Check your benefit plan to see what services may be covered.