Air Quality: Tips for Beating the Summer Heat

Summer can be a trying time for those who suffer from asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems. Constant changes in air quality and an abundance of pollen can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms, especially in the summer heat. Here are a few tips for surviving and thriving with allergies and asthma during the lazy days of summer.

Before heading out on a hot, humid day, the EPA recommends checking the Air Quality Index. This can be done simply by watching your local weather or can be found on the EPA’s website at http://www.airnow.gov/. The AQI measures the amount of air mixed with the amount of pollutants, determining how clean the air is for the day.  It is also a good idea to monitor the amount of pollen in the air — another common trigger for asthma and allergy symptoms.

Asthma patients (both children and adults) should use their inhalers before outdoor exercise, as advised by a doctor, and be sure to take your medication regularly. If you are planning to be out in the heat, be sure to be prepared with your fast-acting inhaler or medication, in the event an attack is triggered.

Finally, avoid sleeping with the windows open; air conditioning is much better for avoiding the symptoms of an allergy or asthma attack.