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Heatwave, asthma fine - day after asthma attack!

Celie1 profile image

Weird or what? I was waiting for the heat to be an awful trigger for me and it wasn’t. Apart from being hot I felt ok, but the next day… asthma attack out of the blue!

I happened to talk to my asthma nurse after the heatwave and told him my asthma was worse after the heat and he said it was the humidity 😳. Apparently for some it’s a trigger. I’m sure loads of you out there are going to tell me it’s a trigger for you now 😆.

I’ve never even considered humidity when I’ve been searching for reasons (as you do) for triggers. I think he’s right though. Today’s very humid and my asthma has gone into overdrive. ( I’ve been looking on my weather app for humidity level. I’ve never noticed it before 🙄).

Every time I’ve had a flare up I’ve looked for reasons for attacks happening and I knew sometimes it was to do with the weather but couldn’t understand why I reacted sometimes to rainy or stormy conditions and sometimes not and now I know!😆. I just have to find the rest of the triggers now 😂

Hope everyone else was ok during the heatwave. 🤗

36 Replies

If humidity is a problem for you, watch out for those misty/rainy days. I can cope with a good honest downpour much better than those drifting clouds of very fine rain. I was ok during the heatwave. Ok during the heavy downpour we had after it. But the past 24 hours, we've had a load of that misty rain, and I've been feeling horrible.

Edited to say: might be worth getting a dehumidifier. We got one off Ebay a few months back and its been brilliant.

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Mandevilla

HiThanks for your reply.

I seem ok once I’m inside with windows closed, but it’s worth considering a dehumidifier.

I’m trying to get my head around it. All the time I’m thinking ‘pollen’ ?🤔 (even when I know it’s not pollen because I don’t have allergic asthma) and it turns out the culprit is the humidity (well, one part of the jigsaw puzzle anyway!).

At least it’s easier to try and avoid once you know your triggers.

Best of luck avoiding yours. 😊

Hi you have got me thinking now. I was dreading the heatwave as, had been chesty the week before. But was, like u ok apart from very hot. Since then I have been terrible. Wheezy can't sleep long without getting tight and coughing. Anyway last 3, days getting worse, I can hardly do much and very breathless. Thinking of ringing Doc to see if I can get some dreaded steroids. Wonder if the humidity and fine rain a trigger for me too. Hope you feel better soon. Take care it's, awful x

Hi,Thank you.😊

Sounds like it could be a trigger for you too. It’s awful today, I’ve already had to take Ventolin twice during my dog walk. It’ll probably settle down now I’m inside. 🤞

Hope the steroids work and you feel better soon.

I am also thinking of contacting the doctor. My chest has become very congested. Never knew about the humidity

Yes, humidity is a trigger for my asthma too.Even walking between the lounge & the kitchen steamy from cooking/washing up can set it off on bad days😬

I grew up in Sweden with a much drier climate so had quite a few problems getting used to the general level of humidity here in the UK but it’s got better over time.

Good that you found out anyway, always better to be aware 😃

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Rattle

Yes it’s much better when you can identify your triggers. 👍

You must be really sensitive if cooking/washing sets it off 😬. As you say though it’s the bad days you have to watch out for. My asthma is uncontrolled at the moment despite maximum meds, so I’m definitely reactive to the slightest hint of a trigger at the moment. 🙄

Think I might need to go to Sweden for a bit! 😂

Rattle profile image
Rattle in reply to Celie1

Yes Sweden feels so much drier now when I visit (like right now actually 😄)I can really recommend a visit, not just for the drier climate.

Hope you can get on top of yoyr asthma soon x

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Rattle

Thank you 😊

I visited Sweden about 11 years ago I, I loved it. Unfortunately I was only there for a few days for work, but I’d like to go again.

Hope this humid weather is short lived for both of us 🤞x

Like many my asthma has been more troublesome, coughing a lot & needing my blue inhaler more than ever before! I’m interested with your comment regarding humidity. What % did you find was a trigger ?

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to PhylP

Hi, I’m not sure what the percentage was the day after the heatwave, the day I spoke to my asthma nurse about.

It was bad yesterday and today and I think it’s around 80% according to my phone weather app.

I’ll be checking from now on and just monitoring what’s happening!

Take care 😊

Humidity is definitely a trigger for me, whether it's too low (below 25%) or too high (above 50%). So if you do invest in a dehumidifier, also invest in a humidity measuring device, around £10 from Amazon. That will help you decide when to use the dehumidifier and avoid having an environment that's too dry.

I found Wednesday last week quite challenging, asthma wise, even though the temperature had dropped considerably, and I knew it was really muggy that day. It was a relief when it rained and cleared the air and things were definitely fresher from Thursday.

In some countries that experience humidity and temperature fluctuations greater than the UK, have warnings from their met offices as it's recognised that a combination of certain humidity and temperatures can affect health detrimentally. Even though we had temperature warnings in the UK, we didn't get any humidity warnings and we need to catch up with other countries.

More info: asthma.net/living/humidity-...

climatechangenews.com/2022/...

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Poobah

Hi Poobah,

Thanks for your reply and the link😁

Low humidity sets you off too? 🤔 Something else to consider!

Thanks for the tip on getting a humidity gauge, definitely will be useful. I’ve already sent for both and looking forward to some normal breathing, inside at least. 🤞

I’m really fed up that my asthma flare doesn’t seem to be settling at all this time, but thankful that I can turn to you and other’s on this forum for support. 🤗

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to Celie1

I suffered repeated chest infections after an air handling system was installed at work and was referred to a specialist who had knowledge of the impact of humidity on health. The office humidity was usually around 20% as we had no way of introducing additional humidity thanks to the fear of legionnaires disease.

The specialist explained that the body will produce mucus if exposed to dry air for too long in order to compensate and that an excess of mucus in the respiratory system can lead to infection, hence my many chest infections. He also said that staff wouldn't be able to wear contact lenses and low humidity can also exacerbate eczema - He was right on that too. That was the start of my humidity education. The upshot was I got my own office with more control over the environment (reasonable adjustments) and my health improved. Another asthmatic who worked in the office ended up taking early retirement and their health improved enormously as a result.

Hope you feel well again soon.

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Poobah

That’s really interesting. Glad you got it sorted out!Thank you 😊

Thank you so much for your post. I have been wondering why my chest was becoming very congested again. The humidity ratings in my house are high. I never made the connection. My dehumidifier is sorting it today, but it never got lower than 75 yesterday.

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to CraftyLego

Hi,I’m so pleased it’s helped you and other’s my mentioning it! Glad you’ve got a dehumidifier already to help your asthma. 😊

I wouldn’t have made the connection without my great asthma nurse, I feel really lucky to have him.

I think it will be really useful buying the humidity gauge that Poobah mentioned, along with the dehumidifier. Can’t wait to try it out! 🤞

Like you, all my life I have been very weather sensitive, & only now have I discovered this has been undiagnosed asthma. The recent hot weather spell was OK, but the day after I was struck down like you. Have you ever considered rapid changes of weather may affect your asthma? They are perhaps the biggest trigger for a lot of people. The weather plunged from 37 or 38 degrees to around 24-5 overnight!

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataAdministrator in reply to 1Fullerton

Yes - weather changes are definitely one of my triggers too, and if asked about a trigger and i don't know (because it's often more than one), I will guess the weather. I suspect atmospheric pressure changes are part of that - I also have problems on planes (but oddly, it's worst and most noticeable on descent, not when the cabin is pressurised initially or on take-off!)

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Lysistrata

Oh I’m the same where plane descent is concerned!

Not too bad on the way up, but coming down I’m sucking on sweets (as if that ever helped!) holding onto the side of my head with awful pressure in my face and ears. I always look around me to see if this is happening to anyone else (no!)everyone else chatting away! 😂. Sometimes I can’t hear properly for days after the flight!

Weirdly though, no asthma symptoms! Is your asthma affected?

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataAdministrator in reply to Celie1

Yes, asthma but not my head or face! Unfortunately everyone can hear me - one poor woman clearly thought I was about to expire as it was a bit noisy and me saying 'don't worry, asthma, handling it' wasn't reassuring it seems...

Then I can't really easily walk off the plane and to the passport control etc, and need a couple of nebs before I can function. I should get special assistance really so someone can cart me off to a place to sit and neb, but I mostly only need a lift at the end not the start (except one time coming home from Lanzarote, but then I had a big attack soon after and landed in hospital for 6 days - already brewing I think.) I might try just nebbing during the descent but saw a thing that said it wasn't allowed - others have done it successfully though during descent (I have used nebs at cruising altitude). Being in a holding pattern is the worst!

I can manage flights for holidays as I can rest after, but I stopped doing it for work when I still worked in an office (company was great, and I didn't do much events/conference stuff anyway, partly because I didn't really want to anyway). It used to be only some flights but now it's all of them it seems (though I've only done two since the pandemic, and they were short domestic ones).

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Lysistrata

That sounds like a nightmare! Funny after the event, when you look back and see that you’re the one trying to pacify the onlooker rather than her helping you! 🤦🏻‍♀️😆. You’d think the noise you were making would have alerted someone to help you.

(Personally I don’t wheeze, just gasp a lot so it takes a very ‘in tune’ person to recognise my asthma attack for what it is - people just think I’m acting a bit strange!😆😂)

It must really put you off going on holiday, or do you need to take a longer break, to allow for the time taken up recovering from the flight? 😬

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataAdministrator in reply to Celie1

I usually cough more in that situation, mixed with wheezy forced and as we were descending, no one could help. Thankfully lol. I know people mean well and I appreciate they want to help, but I find it more stressful when people try unless I'm actually in hospital and they know what they're doing.

Outside that situation, I generally know what I'm doing and can sort myself, but I don't have the breath or energy to explain (sometimes repeatedly) that water or cough drops won't help, I'm not having a panic attack, I don't need a paper bag and I'm not anxious. I get why people offer and it's nice they want to help, but it makes it harder for me to just deal with it if they are not actually helping (or if they're panicking themselves because they don't know what to do - it's harsh but I don't have much energy to reassure them at that moment).

My team at work used to be great though - they were actually really helpful because they'd seen it before and knew what was useful, and would explain to others/help me get my neb out/call ambulances when needed/talk to paramedics for me - they were so great!

I mean the flight is definitely not my favourite part, and I won't do connecting flights, but it doesn't put me off going - the airport chaos atm has though lol. I think I just have to get over not wanting to get special assistance when I start going to places again. I just don't plan anything for the following day, or have a nice relaxed day - we don't tend to do crammed holidays anyway.

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Lysistrata

Haha! I think what I meant by ‘help’ , was get someone who knows what they’re doing to help lol! …rather than the ‘water’ ‘cough drop’ kind of help 😂.

It’s great that your work colleagues knew what to do, it helps so much to have someone there who can actually be useful. Even my husband, bless him, needs instructions at times 🤦🏻‍♀️.

Hope your next flight is uneventful and you can enjoy your holiday x

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataAdministrator in reply to Celie1

Oops sorry - I should have guessed you'd get what I mean! Though tbh unless someone has a mag bag they're still not that useful on a plane when I already have a neb 🤔 Jetpack maybe to get me to the baggage claim lol! Resp drs stress me out so I would prefer NOT to encounter one in that situation 😂😂

I'm freelance now but yes they were great! Better than me tbh as they knew when to call and I find it easier for other people to make that decision.

Thanks - same to you if you're going anywhere, hope the ear pain isn't too bad! I'm waiting till the summer holidays are over before I try...

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to Lysistrata

😂like the ‘jet pack’ idea!

I know what you mean by it being easier for other people to make that decision. That’s the decision I’m usually telling my husband to make! 😂 🤦🏻‍♀️

Thanks - not planning anything at the moment. Just been on a short flight which wasn’t too bad but the longer ones… aaargh ears, face, nose all feel like they’re going to explode - bit dramatic I know 😂🤣but that’s how it feels at the time!

Hi,Yes I think the weather changing suddenly does affect my asthma sometimes, it depends how well controlled it is at the time. Usually though, the weather affects my sinuses first and I get awful pressure in my head and other symptoms 😩

Over the last few months since I had a cold, my asthma has been much worse than before. Even after 2 courses of prednisolone and a slow wean off of them, I’m still relying heavily on ventolin. 😏 So the weather is just another trigger unfortunately.

Hope you’ve been given some asthma meds to control your flare ups now.

Wow I am exactly the same 2 days mega hot okish day after 18 degrees cooler had my 1st asthma attack ended up in hospital on nebuliser since then been on steroids still feel tight chested struggling for breaths how long before I'm back to normal

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to debbie366

Not sure how long. Everyone’s different.

Hope you feel well soon though😊

debbie366 profile image
debbie366 in reply to Celie1

Thank you for your reply its 1 of those how longs a piece of string I suppose

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to debbie366

See my other reply. It depends how severe it feels. See your asthma nurse or doctor if you need to. 😊

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to debbie366

Just thinking, 🤔if you’ve finished your steroids and are still feeling short of breath I would let your GP know, you may need another course. 🤞

debbie366 profile image
debbie366 in reply to Celie1

Hi I've just finished my second lot 1st was 6 over 5 days 2nd was 8 over 5 days now being weaned off them

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to debbie366

Hi, I’m probably not the best person to respond to this as I have a problem with steroids, as in it takes ages for them to start working on me and then I have to be weaned off them very slowly over 3 or more weeks usually.

I suppose it also depends on what other meds you’re on, they might need to tweaking or something adding on. 🤔

Have you tried ringing the AUK nurses? I’ve found them really helpful in the past when I’ve been having a flare up. 👍

debbie366 profile image
debbie366 in reply to Celie1

Hi thankyou for your help so far as we seem to have had the same trigger it was my first really bad attack and I have no idea what to do next I think I will take your advice and get in touch with auk nurses Thankyou again

Celie1 profile image
Celie1 in reply to debbie366

You’re welcome. 🤗

It is scary when you have your first attack and feel vulnerable, not sure about what’s happening or what to expect next. This forum is the best! There will always be someone here who can answer your questions and give you support.

I had asthma for about 15 years before I discovered this forum and I’ve found out so much about asthma since, that no doctor or nurse had ever told me. Having that knowledge is invaluable in helping me to ask the right questions during appointments and take part in decisions about my treatment.

AUK nurses are great though and will really help. 🤞

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