In the spring, most people with asthma will agree that their symptoms seem to worsen. This is mainly due to pollen, grass, and poor air quality. Another asthma trigger in the spring can simply be from exercising outdoors. With the nicer weather, many individuals like to spend time outside running and exercising, rather than being trapped in the gym. Unfortunately, this can cause asthma symptoms can flare up.
While the spring can be challenging to those with asthma, you don’t have to suffer all season long.
Remedies for Asthma
Here are some easy home remedies for treating your asthma in the spring.
Turn up the air
We all know families who refuse to turn their air conditioner on before Memorial Day. However, if you have asthma, using your AC can be crucial for your health and well-being. Air conditioning does a lot more than keep your house cool; it also reduces your exposure to common allergens including pollen, grass, weeds, and dust. “It’s important to remember to clean or replace your filters regularly to keep your air free from allergens,” states Paula Barry, MD, physician at Penn Family and Internal Medicine Longwood.
Time for Spring cleaning
Spring cleaning is important for so much more than putting away winter clothes and decorations; it can also be beneficial to your health, especially if you suffer from asthma. You should strive to clean at least once a week to keep your home free from dust and mold. You may want to wear a mask or have someone else do the cleaning if you are particularly sensitive to dust.
Don’t forget the Yardwork
Yardwork may be one of the most important parts of spring cleaning if you have asthma. When maintaining your lawn, you will want to make sure to get rid of any moldy leaves, damp firewood, and weeds. You should also keep your lawn or grass short. If you plan to plant flowers this spring, be mindful and avoid any blooms that may trigger your asthma. Be sure to wear a mask when working outside or hire extra help if you’re particularly sensitive to outdoor allergens.
Take a (steam) bath
On days when your asthma is at its worst, you may want to take a steam bath. Those who suffer from asthma typically experience a tightening of the muscles around their airways which can result in mucus buildup and/or congestion. “Steam baths are great for relieving nasal congestion and clearing your airway, as they can help break up mucus. It is important, however, to be cautious, as heat can be a potential trigger for some asthmatics,” states Dr. Barry.
Check your medicine (and spice) cabinet
“As spring approaches it is important to check your medications to be sure that they are not expired,” says Dr. Barry. It is also a good time to discuss with your doctor about when it would be best to take your medication. Dr. Barry continues, “Many patients that experience asthma flare ups in the spring start their preventive medicines a few weeks before the season starts in order to avoid respiratory symptoms.”
Are you taking a fish oil supplement? If not, then you might want to consider adding it to your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, which fish oil is full of, can help to decrease airway inflammation that is often caused by asthma. In addition to fish oil, you should also consider taking magnesium supplements to relax your upper respiratory muscles for easier breathing. As is the case with any supplement, be sure to consult your physician before adding these to your daily routine.
In addition to taking extra vitamins and supplements, you may also want to raid your spice cabinet. Garlic and ginger are two of the most important spices to stock up on if you suffer from asthma. Garlic may help to relieve inflammation to clear up congestion in your lungs. Simply boil 2-3 garlic cloves in ¼ cup of milk, cool it, and drink. Similarly, ginger can also decrease inflammation and allow for easier breathing. 1 inch of ginger can be cut up and added to boiling water to steep for 5 minutes and drink once cooled.
Having asthma doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beautiful spring weather. When you follow these tips and remedies you’ll be able to make this the best spring season yet!