If you have asthma, you know that each season brings specific triggers — and a new landscape for managing your asthma. Below are some answers and resources that can help.
Why is there an asthma peak in spring?
Between February and May, the pollen content in the air suddenly spikes, and so do ER visits related to asthma, including increased wheezing after physical activity, shortness of breath, chest tightness and other respiratory issues. As well, some people who have had their asthma under control all winter find that their medications have expired.
How does it impact children?
Children may be particularly vulnerable to shift in temperature. According to one study, temperature or humidity surges of over 10 per cent significantly increased asthma-related hospitalizations for children. This is why a lot of parents will mark their calendars to check medications and make a visit to their asthma health care provider each spring. No matter what your age, it’s a good idea.
What can I do now, and how can I plan for summer?
The Asthma Society of Canada’s online 4 Seasons Guide is a helpful guide that’s specific to the seasons. It looks at triggers throughout the year and provides advice for home, school, work and recreation. The Spring and Summer sections offers information to deal with triggers like pollen, mould, pesticides, smoke, grass clippings and more.
The 4 Seasons Guide is accessible for free here.
In addition to taking preventative steps, it’s essential to make sure that you or your child are always carrying medications, and to follow your health care provider’s instructions, every day.
Where can I download an Asthma Plan?
The Asthma Society of Canada has downloadable Asthma Action Plans in both official languages. If you or your child’s asthma changes with the seasons, you may want to have a different asthma plan for each season.
Because food allergies and asthma often go hand in hand, we encourage you to review both your Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan and your Asthma Plan this spring. Prevention and preparedness are key in managing these conditions. We provide downloadable Anaphylaxis Emergency Plans in English or French.
Food Allergy Canada is proud to support the Asthma Society of Canada in raising awareness about asthma in Canada.
For more information:asthma, asthma action plan, spring