Asthma and Weather

Think ahead to manage your asthma weather triggers

As the seasons and temperatures change, so can your asthma triggers. Whilst the weather can be unpredictable, by understanding how it can affect your asthma you can feel confident navigating whatever mother nature sends.

Understanding weather triggers

Cold weather


Cold, dry air can irritate your airways making them tighter and making it harder for you to breathe. You may also produce more mucus than normal.1,2

Hot and humid weather


Although it’s more common for cold air to make asthma symptoms worse, hot weather can be a trigger too. Hot air can make airways narrow, causing coughing and shortness of breath. There can also be higher levels of pollutants and pollen during the summer months.1

Changes in weather


For many people, simply a change in the weather can trigger asthma symptoms. This can be from either an increase or decrease in temperature.1



When there is a thunderstorm on its way you often feel the air become very humid. This can trigger you to have tightness in your chest and cough. Thunderstorms also break down pollen in the air into smaller pieces which are more easily inhaled, triggering asthma symptoms.1

steps to take

Now that you have a better understanding of your asthma triggers, take the following steps to be prepared and get ahead of the curve:

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Keep an eye on the forecasT


Knowing the forecast for the day ahead means you can be ready before you step out of the door. This includes checking the pollen count and air quality index. Try using a weather app or website to help.1,2

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avoid certain weather


Try to stay indoors or find a workaround during weather conditions that you know trigger you. For example, on hot days you can go outside in the morning when it’s cooler and avoid the midday heat.1

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Keep your home comfortable


When at home, try shutting windows and using heaters or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature. You may also want to use a humidifier or de-humidifier.3

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Dress for the conditions


In cold weather, wrap a scarf loosely to cover your nose and mouth. Also try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth, this helps to warm the air as you breathe it in.1,2

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Take your medication


Taking your long-term control medication routinely as prescribed, helps to reduce your chances of having an exacerbation. These medicines ease the airway inflammation that can cause asthma symptoms, like coughing and wheezing.4-6

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Have a written asthma action plan


Tell your doctor about what weather triggers your asthma so you can work together to include this in your asthma action plan.1

What to do next:

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Talk to your doctor about your symptoms at your next appointment. This will help them to understand if any changes are needed to your treatment, plus, they will be able to share useful advice on how to manage your symptoms.

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If you are going on holiday or traveling to a place with a different climate, remember to plan ahead for any potential new weather triggers. Read the travelling with asthma article to help you prepare for your next trip.



If you’re concerned that your asthma symptoms might be holding you back, speak to your doctor for more information.
The asthma control test (ACT) is a quick way to see how the symptoms of asthma are affecting your everyday life. Click on the link below to get the results in seconds – and be sure to share them with your doctor.

  • referenceS

    1. Asthma and Lung. Weather and Asthma. Available at: Accessed: February 2024.
    2. NHS. Living with Asthma. Available at: Accessed: February 2024.
    3. Healthline. Room temperature. Available at: Accessed: February 2024.
    4. Mayo Clinic. Asthma attack. Available at: Accessed: February 2024.
    5. NHS. Asthma attacks. Available at: Accessed: February 2024.
    6. GINA. Global strategy for asthma management and prevention, 2023. Available at: Accessed: February 2024.