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Asthma

How does Air Quality Affect Asthma?

09/19/2011

Question:

We had some air quality alerts here earlier last week and I was fine, my asthma wasn`t bothering me at all. I thought GREAT! Dodged that problem. Then the air quality got better and THEN my asthma started acting up.

Now the air quality has been back to normal for several days & I`m still wheezing. I don`t get it. My dr said oh yeah, its probably because of that air quality thing, lots of his patients are having problems, but why did it only start AFTER the air quality was already improved?

Answer:

It is possible that the recent change in your asthma control is not related directly to the poor air quality, but rather to the many recent changes which have been occurring in the environment. Changes in weather patterns are often triggers for patients with asthma, as are changes in levels of allergens in the air.
 
If you also have allergies, it is possible that a change in the level of allergy symptoms may be triggering your asthma symptoms. Poor allergy control can directly lead to poor asthma control, and we are in full swing for ragweed season! Also, with rain (which can improve air quality) comes mold....and you guessed it! More allergy symptoms!

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Response by:

Jennifer  McCallister, MD Jennifer McCallister, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University