Effects of humidity on asthma


Humidity can be defined as a degree of moisture content that can be found inside the air at a particular time. It is felt by most of the people suffering from the asthma that humid weather triggers their symptoms and make them worse. However, one can get rid of humidity-related asthma symptoms using a lot of diverse strategies such as consuming certain medicines, checking humidity levels inside our houses, and not to do exercises especially when you are aware of such humid weather conditions. Therefore, humidity and the weather are inter-related to each other and can disturb asthma patient. In the following paragraphs we will look at the most suitable and most horrible weather conditions for asthma patient. So that it can be managed in no time.

It is observed and proven fact that higher is the humidity levels in the atmosphere, the more vulnerable is the condition of asthma sufferers. Certainly, the reason for such vulnerability is the humid air that is so soaked with vapors, that it doesn’t allow your sweat to get out of your body efficiently to keep your body cool. That’s why you might feel warmer and tackier on those moist days.

Also, in humid air it becomes harder to respire and you can’t breathe properly, that’s why not good for asthma patient. Asthma is the condition in which your airways become contracted and such contraction is a problematic as it makes difficult to pull the right amount of air into your lungs. You may sense some shortness in breath or sudden appearance of coughing and wheezing when the weather is humid.

Why humid air is problematic for the people having asthma?

People suffering from the asthma are hyper-sensitive to lot of things including the atmospheric conditions. It may or may not worry other people. Therefore, humidity and all the accompanied atmospheric conditions can be seen as a sign of trouble and worry for these people.

Key reasons

Moist air feels tougher to breathe in and out

If we see it scientifically moist air tends to be heftier and harder to inhale as well as exhale. Heat and humidity are usually considered best friends so that’s why when the weather is humid, the air you take in contains some moisture and this rises up the body temperature. Excessive sweating can ultimately lead to dehydration that is decrease in the amount of water in your body. This will affect the breathing rate and make this process faster. Altogether, it can trigger the asthma symptoms and even worsen your health.

Humidity, one of the extreme temperatures

As discussed in earlier point, humidity is related with heat and that’s why humidity level is highest during summer time. Increased heat can also worsen your airways as the cold air does. The lungs of person having the asthma tend to be more subtle particularly to the extreme temperatures. If you are diagnosed with asthma, an unexpected change in weather can actually give a shock to your lungs and can cause an asthma attack.

Humidity can create air quality poorer

Air quality tends to be poor when the humidity levels are high.

Humidity can provide an appropriate conditions for the multiplication of many tiny organisms like mold, dust mites etc. that all can be the means of trouble for asthmatic people. Also the ground-level ozone is known to be good asthma triggers. Ozone, one of the air impurity that infuriates the airways and can make the breathing tougher. Levels of ozone gas in the atmosphere together with humidity can double the triggering of asthma symptoms.

Amplified moisture levels can directly create problems in the airways, and also increase the chances of entering of other harmful substances such as pollens and pollution in the airways that can irritate the bronchial tubes present inside our body.

Following asthma symptoms can be seen escalating especially when an asthmatic individual comes in contact with high humidity levels:

  • coughing
  • chest tightness
  • wheezing
  • feeling continuous discomfort while breathing, may even lead to breathlessness

When you observe these symptoms are constantly flared up especially when you go outside, it can be diagnosed that asthma is triggered all because of one evil that is humidity.

Effects of humidity on asthma

Inhaling and exhaling in moist air stimulates your nerves present in your respiratory system. As a result it becomes narrow and you feel some trouble while breathing and it seems to you that your airways are partially blocked.

Humidity present in air also attracts the different kinds of pollutants and allergens for example pollens, dust and dirt, mold, dust mites, pollution and smoke which creates problems in the overall respiratory system.

Dust mites are mostly found in your home furniture, under the carpets, and inside your bedding. They can easily flourish even if the humidity level in air is around 60 percent to 80 percent. Even when they are dead, their dead bodies and left-over can also lead to frequent asthma attacks.

Molds are also said to flourish easily when the humidity level is above 60 percent. Mold is often visible in dull and damp places of your house like on bathroom ceilings and flooded underground rooms and parking. If you are allergic to mold, then, be cautious while going to such places as breathing in these areas can instantly pop up your asthma symptoms.

How can you survive or prevent your asthma symptoms in humid weather??

Many strategies can be used to prevent the increased frequency of asthma attacks especially when the weather is humid and moisture- driven.

Preventive strategies 

  • Keep yourself cool and calm

Do not try to put yourself in circumstances where it is necessary that you would have to gulp in very hot air. As this could be dangerous for your life. This condition may be hard-hitting for you if your job requires you to work in heat. But believe it, this decision can be life threatening and you should consider for taking another task or assignment that goes perfectly with your health conditions.

  • Have an appointment and regular check- ups with your doctor

Meeting your doctor on regular basis will allow you to known your health conditions from time to time. You can also discuss with your medical expert to guide you if hot and humid air is posing a difficulty for your asthma control. Medical experts who have already studied the effects of hot and humid air on asthma are in better position to guide you. You should be open to you medical expert and Don’t feel shy and embarrassed while talking about it as it could come up with more worsening symptoms in the near future and you will feel regretful at that time. Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you feel some possible changes are needed in your medication and its dosage or may be some lifestyle changes at least till that time when the weather will become better.

  • Get rid of all the allergies and keep them under your control

Allergies need to be checked regularly especially if you are asthmatic. Triggers such as mold or mites or grass pollens etc. can be risky for the life of asthma patient. Take the help of your doctor if you find some allergies are constantly troubling you. He will test the allergy and give you the right prescription to correct it so that it does not pose difficulty for you in the coming future. This will keep a check on sudden pop up of asthma symptoms that may be caused by an unchecked allergies. Also, you can follow certain ways to limit yourself to these allergens that may be the possible reason for triggering your asthma attacks.

  • Be cautious while going outside and have a look at the air quality index

Develop the habit of listening to the regional news and weather update programs. So that you are well informed about the air quality in the morning only and you can plan your day out. In this technological changing world, now it is easier to check out the weather forecasts daily, you just need to grab your all-time favorite device that is your smart phone and download the weather forecasting application from the app store. Air quality can also be checked online through your personal computers or laptops. If the weather and air quality is poor on a particular day, then, try to stop and rest inside your lovely house only. Or be cautious while going outside, try to use your car to move outside and shut all the windows and use air purifier in your car. Also carry your medicines, inhalers with you every time.

  • Stay inside your house especially on hot and humid days

Try to stay inside your house by keeping the air conditioning on and also the air purifier if required, especially at that time when the heat and humidity is maximum.

  • Do all the important chores early

On the predicted days when the heat, humidity or air quality tends to be at dangerous levels, try to complete all those must-do works early on that day or before that time when the environmental conditions become unpleasant and uncomfortable for you.

  • Be careful while swimming at the pool

Swimming is considered as one of the recommended exercise for asthma patient as it is beneficial for the asthma and prevents your body from overheating especially when the climate is hot. But not all the people feel the same as asthma symptoms can return all because of the chlorine added in these swimming pools for making the water safe and clean. But if you are the person of later case that is chlorine triggers your symptoms, you should start focusing on different activity or exercise program for example yoga or an indoor fitness class.

  • Indoor humidity levels should be kept low

Even if controlling the weather is not in your hands but your home environment can be controlled and changed as per your requirement. Customize your indoor humidity levels to 50 percent or below this percentage so that the dust mites, mold etc. do not get a good breeding ground to multiply themselves at your home and also the humidity-related allergens can be removed out of your house.

  • Drink a lot of water and clothing should be loose and light

It is always better for asthmatic person to wear baggy and light clothes especially when they are moving out of their house in such weather conditions. Also do not forget to gulp down at least 8 glasses of water a day.

  • Carry your rescue inhaler every time you go outside

It is necessary to carry the rescue inhaler, every time you are packing your bags and going outside. As it is the ultimate first aid for your asthma in case there is some emergency. Especially when the climatic conditions are poor you should always have your safety machine with you.

  • Switch on the fan while taking shower

When you are taking a shower, you can switch on the fan so that you do not feel some uncomfortableness that might occur because of the accumulated moisture in the bathroom.

  • Take care that your house is well insulated

A good insulation in your house will work magically for an asthmatic person. As it keeps the house warm in winters and cool in summer time. Also, it can help the fresh air to come inside your home especially when you are practicing the yoga exercises or meditating.


Controlling the weather can’t be done by you but still you can reduce its ill effects by taking some additional care especially at this time. Use some machines to check the humidity inside your sweet home and set it for around 30 to 50 percent.

If you really do not want your asthma to become a problematic challenge for you, do take care of yourself and follow these precautions in this moisture driven weather.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1026407/
  2. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.201201-0088OC
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1732684

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