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How Do I Manage Asthma in the Fall?

Learn About Fall Asthma Triggers and How to Manage Them

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Dayton Respiratory Center

Sep 16 2022

4 mins read

After a long, hot summer, you're probably ready for fall. I mean, who doesn't love the crisp cool air, vibrant colors of leaves, and fun outdoor activities?

Well, for some, this season isn't so welcoming. Conditions like asthma negatively affect your breathing and make fall activities more difficult.

But don't worry. There are many ways to keep your asthma under control, so you can still enjoy the autumn season.

Let's look at the most common seasonal asthma triggers and discuss how you can manage them this fall.

What Triggers Asthma in the Fall?

Asthma differs from one person to another. Knowing your triggers helps you prevent flare-ups and control your condition.

Some common fall asthma triggers include:

  • Ragweed Pollen
    • Ragweed is a weed that blooms in the fall
    • Each plant produces nearly 1 billion pollen grains, which can cause asthma attacks
  • Mold
    • While molds are present all year long, certain outdoor molds that grow on damp leaf piles trigger asthma symptoms
  • Cold Air
    • Cold air activates specific cells and nerves in the nasal cavity
    • This leads to rhinitis, which causes nasal congestion, runny/itchy nose, and sneezing
  • Cold and Flu
    • Seasonal colds and flu can aggravate your asthma
    • This is common in the fall because as kids return to school, they're exposed to viruses and bacteria and are more likely to catch infections
  • Smoke from controlled burns and campfires
    • Autumn is the time to enjoy campfires. Unfortunately, the smoke from these campfires can irritate your nasal cavity and trigger an asthma attack
    • Asthma is also triggered by the smoke from controlled burns

How Do I Manage My Asthma?

Although asthma can't be cured, it is treatable. Identifying and avoiding triggers helps you prevent flare-ups and effectively manage your condition.

Here are 10 ways to control your asthma in the fall:

1. Identify Your Triggers

First, identify your triggers. Once you know what causes a flare-up, you can try to avoid it.

You can find out what triggers your allergies by doing a skin prick test. It's quick, easy, and offers immediate results.

2. Schedule Follow-up Visits with Your Doctor

Attend regular doctor's appointments to keep track of your condition. Your doctor can detect any new symptoms and take preventive measures to help you manage your condition.

3. Keep Your Medication Handy

Always keep your inhaler on hand, and never skip your medications.

Asthma can get better or worse over time. It's important to tell your doctor about any new symptoms so that you can adjust medications as needed.

4. Get Your Flu Shots

Respiratory infections can trigger asthma attacks. Flu shots help prevent these infections or lessen the severity of their symptoms.

5. Wash Your Hands Frequently

Frequently washing your hands reduces the spread of germs and viruses. This ultimately stops the transmission of diseases that trigger asthma symptoms.

6. Keep Doors and Windows Closed

Keep your windows and doors closed to prevent pollen, dust, smoke or other allergens from entering your home. Regularly vacuum your house to get rid of these triggers.

7. Reduce Outdoor Activities

Outdoor physical activities might seem exciting, but overexertion can aggravate your asthma.

Choose activities that let you enjoy the weather without causing a flare-up. And take extra precautions if necessary.

  • For example, if you need to rake leaves off your lawn, sprinkle water on them beforehand and wear protective masks.

8. Track Pollen Counts

Check the pollen count in your area. This measures how much pollen is present in the air.

Plan your outdoor activities around the pollen count in your area. If the pollen count is high, try to stay indoors.

9. Wash Your Clothes After Being Outdoors

When you're outdoors, your clothes absorb a lot of pollen. Wash your clothes as soon as you come inside so that you don't take pollen in with you.

10. Create an Asthma Action Plan

If you're asthmatic, you should have an Asthma Action Plan. Your plan should include the following information:

  • Details about your medications (dosages and frequency)
  • How to understand your symptoms and detect a flare-up
  • What to do in an emergency


You can still enjoy the fall season, even if you have asthma.

While asthma is a chronic disease, it's manageable. Identifying your triggers and taking steps to stay away from these allergens can help prevent an asthma attack.

Talk to your doctor if you experience any changes in symptoms, and have an Asthma Action Plan in place. This will help you understand each symptom and take action accordingly.

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