In many parts of the country, autumn can be one of the prettiest times of the year. But for some asthma sufferers, the changing leaves, the cooling temperatures, and seasonal germs can be the most awful time of the year. But by identifying your symptoms on time, you can take some essential steps toward a pleasant season.

Detecting Your Symptoms

It's important to understand when you are most likely to have asthma symptoms. For instance, some people experience their worst symptoms at night or in the morning. In others, the discomfort can come and go intermittently without any pattern. Additionally, some only experience a flare-up when they're exposed to their allergy triggers, or when they have a cold or other illness. Colds seem to be especially prevalent in the fall because once kids go back to school, germs have a breeding ground in which to spread.

What's more, some asthmatics only experience one symptom at a time, such as a persistent cough or extreme fatigue. So remember that symptoms can look and feel different at different times, depending on your triggers, your overall health, and what's going on with your body at that time. No matter what situation makes your asthma flare the most, be sure you use medications as directed. It's important not to skip your medication intake during a season when your asthma is the most sensitive to certain triggers. Most importantly, you can help protect yourself against an asthma attack by examining common warning signs.

Asthma attacks are caused by inflammation and spasms in your bronchial tubes, as well as an increase in mucus that can make it difficult for air to travel to and from your lungs. As a result, you may experience a variety of symptoms including:

  • Tightness in your chest
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing

What You Can Do

It's important to follow a personalized asthma action plan. It will help you recognize warning signs and will tell you how to respond appropriately. This may mean either increasing your medications or seeking medical help. It can also be helpful to track changes in your breathing by using a tool called a peak flow monitor, which can alert you of an asthma flare before you even feel any symptoms. This will allow you to increase your medication as needed and hopefully head off an attack.

With a little effort, you can gain control of your seasonal asthma and keep it in check, not only in the fall but also throughout the year.


American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI)

Asthma Society of Canada

National Jewish Health