Worsening of asthma symptoms during the cold months or the appearance of pollen in the air may indicate seasonal Asthma.
This article will detail the causes, symptoms, and first-aid treatment for seasonal Asthma.
What is Asthma
Asthma affects the lungs, preventing a person from breathing easily.
The inflammation of the lungs is a result of a severe allergic reaction to several factors such as pollen, dust mites, chemicals, dander, or mould. On the other hand, non-allergic Asthma is mainly because of cold, heartburn, exercise, and strong smells.
In an asthma attack, the person will experience a tight sensation to the chest due to narrowing of the airways, shortness of breath, and coughing.
Signs and Symptoms of Seasonal Asthma
The most common symptom of Asthma in children and adults is breathing difficulty.
For mild Asthma:
- Wheezing (the person making a whistling sound when breathing)
- Tightness or pressure in the chest
- Mucus buildup in the airways
For severe Asthma:
- Severe and constant wheezing and coughing
- Chest tightness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Breathing too fast
- Drowsiness, confusion, and dizziness
- Bluish tint on lips and fingers
Asthma is a chronic and year-round illness, but it can be more frequent in certain months of the year. Previous researchers have found out that asthma symptoms have a seasonal variation.
Depending on your location, spring, summer, and fall are the most challenging times of the year. It is because seasonal allergens may trigger asthma responses.
Around 2.7 million people, or 11% of the total Australian population, has Asthma. According to records, the seasonal peak of this illness happens in late February, June, and mid-November. It is due to the opening of the schools, the appearance of winter viral infections, and the beginning of seasonal allergies.
The Top Asthma Triggers by Season
In spring, pollen is often responsible for half of the seasonal asthma allergies. Allergy is the most common trigger for most people.
While in summer and autumn, extreme weather conditions from the heat and thunderstorms can trigger seasonal Asthma. The hot air and the humidity can cause narrowing of the airway, similar to cold air. There are also possible changes in the number of pollutants in the summertime.
First Aid Treatment
Seasonal Asthma will require an action plan that aims to prevent and treat symptoms and possible attacks.
Here’s a step-by-step guide in Asthma first aid treatment.
- Stay calm and encourage the casualty to do the same.
- Assist the person in a sitting position.
- Lose any tight clothing and jewellery. Encourage the person to take slow, steady breaths.
- Give four (4) separate puffs of blue or grey reliever. Shake the puffer and put one into the spacer.
- Take four (4) breaths from the spacer and repeat it multiple times.
- Wait for a few minutes. If there are no signs of improvement, give more separate puffs.
- Call triple zero (000) for emergency medical assistance if symptoms worsen.
- Keep doing the reliever inhaler until paramedics arrive.
The doctor may prescribe an adrenaline auto-injector (EpiPen) for allergies that trigger an asthma attack. Follow the instruction and inject this into the upper, outer part of the person’s thigh. Check with the emergency services if you have concerns on how to do it.
Do not inject an EpiPen outside if the air is cool. The cold air will only make the symptoms worse.
An asthma attack can quickly become a medical emergency. Therefore, first aid and urgent medical attention are essential.
Taking quick and effective intervention can reduce the risk of an asthma emergency. Learn first aid and follow your Asthma Action Plan for the best treatment.